Mental health is a crucial aspect of overall well-being, and when it becomes unmanageable, seeking professional help is essential. Inpatient programs are a form of treatment that provides intensive care for individuals struggling with mental health issues. In this guide, we will explore what inpatient programs are, how they differ from outpatient programs and why they may be the best option for those seeking mental health treatment.

What is Inpatient Treatment?

Inpatient treatment, also known as residential treatment, is a form of mental health care that involves staying at a facility for a designated period. This type of treatment is typically recommended for individuals with severe mental health issues that require intensive care and monitoring.

How Long is an Inpatient Mental Health Stay?

The length of an inpatient mental health stay can vary depending on the individual’s needs and the severity of their condition. On average, inpatient treatment can last anywhere from 30 days to 90 days, but some programs may last longer. The length of stay is determined by the individual’s progress and the treatment team’s recommendations.

Inpatient vs Outpatient: What’s the Difference?

Inpatient and outpatient programs are two types of mental health treatment options, but they differ in several ways. But what is the difference between inpatient and outpatient programs?

Level of Care

Inpatient programs provide a higher level of care compared to outpatient programs. Inpatient treatment involves 24/7 monitoring and support, while outpatient treatment typically involves weekly or bi-weekly therapy sessions.


Inpatient programs require individuals to stay at a facility for the duration of their treatment, while outpatient programs allow individuals to continue living at home and attend therapy sessions during the day.

Intensity of Treatment

Inpatient programs offer more intensive treatment compared to outpatient programs. Inpatient treatment involves a structured schedule of therapy sessions, group activities and medication management, while outpatient treatment may only involve therapy sessions.


Inpatient treatment tends to be more expensive than outpatient treatment due to the higher level of care and 24/7 monitoring. However, many insurance plans cover a portion of inpatient treatment costs.

What to Expect During an Inpatient Stay

Inpatient treatment involves a structured schedule of therapy sessions, group activities and medication management. The treatment team will work with the individual to create a personalized treatment plan that addresses their specific needs and goals.

Therapy Sessions

Individual therapy sessions are a crucial aspect of inpatient treatment. These sessions allow individuals to work one-on-one with a therapist to address their specific mental health concerns and develop coping strategies.

Group therapy sessions are also a significant part of inpatient treatment. These sessions provide individuals with the opportunity to connect with others who are going through similar experiences and receive support and guidance from their peers.

Medication Management

Inpatient treatment also involves medication management, where a psychiatrist will work with the individual to determine the best medication regimen for their specific needs. Medication can help manage symptoms and improve overall well-being.

Daily Activities

Inpatient treatment facilities often offer a variety of daily activities to promote overall well-being and provide individuals with a sense of structure. These activities may include yoga, meditation, art therapy and recreational activities.

Who Can Benefit from Inpatient Treatment?

Inpatient treatment can benefit individuals struggling with a variety of mental health issues, including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Schizophrenia
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use disorders

Inpatient treatment is recommended for individuals with severe mental health issues that require intensive care and monitoring. It may also be beneficial for those who have not seen improvement with outpatient treatment or have experienced a relapse.

Finding the Right Inpatient Program

When looking for an inpatient mental health facility, it’s essential to consider the following factors:

Accreditation and Licensing

Ensure that the facility is accredited and licensed by the appropriate governing bodies. This ensures that the facility meets specific standards and provides quality care.

Treatment Approach

Different facilities may have different treatment approaches, so it’s essential to find one that aligns with the individual’s needs and preferences. Some facilities may focus on traditional therapy, while others may incorporate holistic approaches.

Staff Qualifications

The staff at an inpatient behavioral health facility should be qualified and experienced in treating mental health issues. Look for facilities that have licensed therapists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals on staff.

Aftercare Support

Aftercare support is crucial for individuals transitioning back to their daily lives after completing inpatient treatment. Look for facilities that offer aftercare support, such as outpatient therapy or support groups.

Inpatient Programs Can Make a Difference

Inpatient programs provide intensive care and support for individuals struggling with mental health issues. They offer a higher level of care compared to outpatient programs and can benefit those with severe mental health issues.

When looking for an inpatient program, it’s essential to consider factors such as accreditation, treatment approach and aftercare support. With the right inpatient program, individuals can receive the support and treatment they need to improve their mental health and overall well-being.

Holly Hill Hospital, located in Raleigh, North Carolina, provides inpatient treatment services for children, adolescents, adults and senior adults. If you are looking for an inpatient mental health or addiction treatment program in North Carolina, please reach out to Holly Hill today by calling 919-420-3677.


Holly Hill Hospital

Holly Hill Hospital is an inpatient and outpatient psychiatric and addictive disease health system for patients of all ages. Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, we pride ourselves on helping patients return to their families and communities happier and healthier for nearly 40 years. We give our patients excellent coping and recovery skills.

We have several different nurturing and beautiful locations, which includes our main, adult and children’s locations. Some of our services comprise of our child, adolescent, young adult, adult and geriatrics programs. Through these programs we provide treatment for dual diagnosis/co-occurring disorders, depression, addiction treatment and more.

To schedule a no-cost assessment or for more information, please call 833-425-1800