The Benefits of a Long-Term Mental Health Facility

Every year, millions of Americans experience mental illness symptoms serious enough to require treatment. Many people get the help they need in outpatient programs. Others do better in a more extensive inpatient treatment. 

The length of time you spend in treatment may also have a big impact on your recovery. A relatively short stay often provides the desired benefits. However, to get the most out of treatment, you may need long-term mental health care.

There are a number of reasons for enrolling in long-term mental health facilities. Important factors include the nature of your illness, as well as the seriousness of your symptoms.

In addition, mental health professionals consider how you respond to treatment. The overall goal of long-term care is maximizing your chances of returning to a healthy, productive daily routine.

Features of a Long-Term Mental Health Facility

There is no single definition for long-term mental health care. Generally speaking, programs in this category stand in contrast to standard programs.

Some standard programs may only require you to enroll for 30 days. Others take 60 or 90 days to complete. This means that a good working definition of long-term care is treatment that lasts longer than 30 to 90 days.

When most people think of long-term psychiatric facilities, they are referring to inpatient care. This type of care may take place in a residential treatment program.

It may also take place in psychiatric hospitals. Both types of long-term mental health facilities require you to live onsite while you receive treatment.

Long-term treatment can also be given in an outpatient program. However, outpatient programs allow you to stay at home while receiving care.

Differences Between Residential Facilities and Hospitals

A long-term residential treatment program differs from a hospital in a number of ways. Residential programs are for people who:

  • Are not at-risk for hurting other people or themselves
  • Have no other issues that merit hospitalization
  • Cannot function independently because of their condition
  • Will not get the treatment they need in an outpatient program

In addition, many people in residential treatment are affected by dual diagnosis. This is the combination of serious mental illness symptoms with a separate substance problem.

Dual diagnosis has a wider impact on your health than mental illness alone. You need a higher level of treatment to recover.

And in many cases, you may also need more time to recover. In addition, major physical problems may slow down the speed of your overall recovery.

People in inpatient psychiatric hospitals have an immediate need for medical oversight. Such a need may be prompted by suicidal behavior.

You may also pose a serious danger to other people. In addition, certain severe mental illness symptoms may qualify you for hospitalization. 

An inpatient psych facility is usually reserved for short-term treatment. However, in certain situations, you may require longer-term treatment.

For example, you may have a lingering urge to harm yourself or someone else. You may also have prolonged, uncontrolled symptoms of a dangerous mental state like psychosis. 

Why Choose a Long-Term Mental Health Facility?

Why Choose a Long-Term Mental Health Facility

What are the reasons for entering long-term residential mental health care? The specific reasons vary from case to case. Potential motivations include:

  • Having severe symptoms that require longer-term care
  • Needing extra treatment for dual diagnosis
  • Being affected by a complex condition like borderline personality disorder
  • Making slower progress than expected in your recovery

Mental health specialists also consider a range of other factors before recommending a long-term facility. One important consideration is the need to follow a realistic timeline for treatment and recovery.

In addition, your treatment plan may need to be adjusted after your enrollment begins. 

There is also another key factor for both you and your specialist to consider. As a rule, the longer you stay in effective treatment, the better your outcomes will be.

If long-term inpatient psychiatric care is an option, it may provide you with the best possible odds of recovering. 

Types of Treatment Used in Long-Term Inpatient Mental Health Facilities

The types of treatment you receive can also affect your need for long-term mental health facilities. That is especially true for psychotherapy, one of the two main treatment options in most programs.

Some forms of therapy have a limited focus and help you reach a few targeted treatment goals. In contrast, other therapy options have a wider focus and provide you with more general benefits.

The most common form of therapy for mental illness is cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. This targeted therapy focuses on helping you develop ways of thinking and behaving that support sound mental health.

Not everyone completes CBT in the same amount of time. However, in most cases, it takes just 12 to 20 weeks. Some forms of the therapy take even less time to complete.

In contrast to CBT are more in-depth forms of psychotherapy. Treatment of this type does not focus solely on specific targeted outcomes. They also address underlying personal issues that may negatively impact your mental health.

Such issues are often quite complex. Your therapist may need considerable amounts of time to explore them and help you get better. 

Costs and Length of Stay at Long-Term Mental Health Facilities

Length of Stay

Length of Stay

There is often no set length of stay in long-term inpatient mental health facilities. Research shows that many therapists would like to have more time for treatment than a standard program allows.

In some cases, this extended treatment may last for half a year. 

If you suffer from dual diagnosis, you will likely need even more time to recover. Appropriate treatment may take as long as a year to 18 months to complete.

Effective treatment of borderline personality disorder may take as long as three years. You will not necessarily spend all of this time in a residential mental health institution.

However, residential care may form a substantial portion of your treatment.


Typically, you can expect to pay more for long-term treatment than for standard-length care. This makes sense since more resources are used in support of your recovery.

No single price structure applies to all facilities. Most modern insurance plans include coverage for mental health issues.

Still, not all plans will cover the full cost of long-term residential treatment. Consult your plan to learn more about your share of the expected expenses.

Identifying the Best Long-Term Mental Health Facilities

How can you identify the best psychiatric residential treatment facility for adults? To make the right choice, it helps to keep one thing firmly in mind.

No matter how mental illness affects, the best treatment is always geared toward your specific needs. High-quality facilities pay close attention to this principle. They do so by:

  • Providing you with a team of skilled treatment professionals
  • Offering a variety of effective treatment options
  • Creating customized plans that suit your personal situation
  • Consulting with you throughout your time in treatment

High-quality facilities also make adjustments to your plan whenever necessary.

Long-Term Mental Health Facilities Near You

Long-Term Mental Health Facilities Near You

If you live near a major American city, chances are you can find a suitable long-term facility near you. You can also find these kinds of facilities in many smaller metropolitan areas.

Ask a local mental health specialist for advice on available programs. Your options may include both private and public facilities. 

Traveling for Long-Term Mental Health Facilities

Unfortunately, not all parts of the country enjoy equal access to long-term residential care. To find an appropriate program, you may need to do some traveling.

This might not be as convenient as getting treated locally. However, it could be the only way for you to get the right kind of support for your recovery.

In many cases, you may only have to travel a short distance for long-term treatment. 

Long-Term Mental Health Facilities in Arizona

Some people do not need long-term mental health facilities to recover. However, in your specific situation, these facilities may be exactly what you need.

A number of factors help determine if long-term care will benefit you. One of the most common reasons for a longer time in recovery is the presence of dual diagnosis.

You may also suffer from severe symptoms of a complex mental illness. 

Long-term programs require more time to complete than standard programs. The exact length of time in treatment varies from case to case.

At the low end, you may expect to receive treatment for anywhere from 90 days to six months. At the high end, it may take a year or more for you to complete long-term care. 

For more information on long-term mental health care in Arizona, contact the specialists at Emerald Isle. We have the expertise needed to help you explore your options.

In addition, we offer a range of resources for effective long-term recovery. Those resources include residential facilities. If needed, they may also include periods of outpatient treatment.

No matter what you need to meet your goals, we will help you make lasting progress. To learn more about our slate of long-term options, call Emerald Isle today.