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All About Long-Term Residential Mental Health Facilities  

long-term mental health facilities in connecticut

It can be scary to watch your loved one struggle with a mental health condition—whether it’s anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, schizophrenia, or another illness. The symptoms, not to mention the worry you have over their general well-being, can be overwhelming at times. And the idea of sending them to a treatment facility can be just as intimidating, too. 

Mental health has long carried a stigma. For example, there are common misconceptions that residential mental health facilities mean hospitalization. While this is far from the modern truth, many people worry about what they can really expect in a long-term mental health facility. On top of this, they fear judgement from others and worry about the time commitment, spent away from things like school, work, and family. These may be shared worries of yours, too.  

Long-term residential mental health treatment is an incredible option for people looking to recover from the difficult and persistent symptoms of mental illness. There are great facilities out there offering comfortable, engaging, and supportive healing environments (and communities) where clients can thrive. If you are researching long-term residential mental health facilities for your loved one, take a breath. Let’s learn more about these treatment centers and their benefits. 

What is a Long-Term Mental Health Facility? 

A long-term mental health facility is a type of treatment center that provides comprehensive, extended care for individuals with severe or persistent mental health conditions. These facilities offer structured environments where patients can receive round-the-clock treatment, therapy, and support to manage their symptoms and improve their overall well-being. Patients typically live at the center in which they are receiving treatment, also known as a residential mental health facility. 

The time commitment required for a long-term mental health treatment program can vary, depending on the facility. Typically, long-term treatment lasts more than 90 days. However, the exact time required will depend on the severity of a person’s disorder (or disorders) and the complexity of their mental health needs. Treatment timelines can get adjusted as individuals progress through treatment. 

Long-term mental health facilities can also vary widely in their treatment approaches and amenities. Treatment modalities might include a mix of behavioral therapies, individual and group therapy, life skills training, recreational activities, and medication management. Most long-term facilities will offer comfortable living environments where clients feel welcome, at home, and at peace. These settings are meant for healing, but are not hospitals. Often, they include exercise gyms, swimming pools, libraries, art studios, common rooms, and outdoor spaces that clients can enjoy, along with clinical offices and facilities. 

Some long-term facilities will focus on improving the mental health of specific populations, such as Turnbridge, who is dedicated to helping adolescents and young adults. Some facilities also offer specialized care in certain areas, like trauma-informed therapy or treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders. Not all long-term mental health facilities are the same, so it is important to do your research and understand what each can offer you and your loved one. 

The Advantages of Long-Term, Residential Treatment for Mental Health 

Although every long-term residential mental health facility is unique, they all share a common goal of helping people overcome the everyday difficulties of a mental illness. These facilities help clients stabilize their symptoms, develop coping strategies, foster independence, reintegrate into the community, and build meaningful lives without being defined by their disorders. 

Long-term residential treatment centers offer safe, home-like environments for people battling mental illness. Clients get the unique opportunity to separate themselves from the pressures of everyday life, and can truly focus on their healing journey and treatment. They can learn how to enhance their overall health, mentally, emotionally, and physically, and do this alongside others who are walking in similar shoes. That is, perhaps, one of the greatest benefits of long-term residential mental health facilities: They provide clients with a sense of belonging and community. 

So, why choose a long-term residential mental health facility, over a short-term program or outpatient therapy? At a high-level, the advantages of long-term residential treatment are: 

  • A safe, secure, and nurturing place to heal 
  • 24/7, round-the-clock care and support 
  • Structured daily routines that encourage recovery 
  • Personalized treatment plans that can be adjusted as clients work through treatment 
  • Surrounded by others who are going through similar experiences 
  • The ability to build a sober, social network within this environment 
  • Access to clinical support and expert clinicians when needed 
  • Engaging activities and amenities outside of clinical care 
  • Frequent support groups and meetings  
  • Life skills training, such as teaching one how to make healthy meals, or balance and maintain responsibilities 
  • Coping skills development, to prepare clients with the strategies they need to navigate life after treatment 

Who Can Benefit from Long-Term Residential Mental Health Treatment? 

Long-term mental health facilities are typically best for individuals with chronic and persistent mental illnesses such as (but not limited to) schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe depression, and personality disorders. These facilities offer specialized care for individuals with complex needs that cannot typically be addressed in short-term or outpatient settings. 

If you are unsure if long-term residential mental health treatment is right for your loved one, do not hesitate to contact a clinical provider or treatment professional. You may always contact Turnbridge for guidance and support at 877-581-1793. We are happy to help you understand the ins and outs of long-term treatment programs, to see if it’s the right fit for your loved one’s needs. 

What to Expect in a Long-Term Mental Health Facility 

When many people hear “long-term” or “residential” treatment, they might think of being sent away to a mental health facility where they will not interact with others, or where they will be treated like a patient in a hospital setting. This could not be farther from the truth! Today, long-term mental health facilities are built to provide a positive, welcoming environment where clients can truly heal. This means they are often equipped with beautiful furnishings, in-house gyms and yoga studios, serene outdoor areas, recreational activities, nutritious dining experiences, and secure, protected housing where clients can always feel safe. 

When your loved one enters a long-term mental health facility, they should be welcomed with care and offered a personalized experience. In order for treatment to be effective, it must be tailored to a person’s individual needs. That is why, in addition to a safe healing environment, the best residential and long-term facilities will ensure that you receive a custom mental health evaluation, and that all your needs are met – physically, emotionally, and mentally. The right program will take into consideration factors like age, gender, history of drug use, history of trauma or abuse, financial situations, family history, relationships, and other risk factors that might be contributing to one’s mental health struggles. 

Once a treatment facility understands your loved one’s needs, they can then begin the treatment process. At Turnbridge, for example, this will involve a range of modalities, backed by evidence: 

  • Behavioral interventions, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 
  • One-on-one and group counseling sessions 
  • Medication management, if necessary 
  • Family therapy and workshops 
  • Skill-building and rehabilitation 
  • Dual diagnosis therapy (also known as treatment for co-occurring disorders) 
  • Trauma-informed therapy 
  • Structured daily routines 
  • Peer support and networking 
  • Recreational and holistic activities, to engage in the treatment process 
  • Transition planning for reintegration into society 
  • Extended care options and sober living homes 

As you can gather, long-term mental health facilities are not synonymous with mental health hospitals. While these centers will be staffed by expert clinicians and doctors, they will also offer clients a range of holistic, behavioral, and medical modalities to help in one’s recovery. On top of this, long-term mental health treatment programs are engaging and offer a level of independence to their clients that cannot be found in the hospital setting. At Turnbridge, for example, clients slowly gain independence as they work through the phases of recovery.  

Overall, the goal of a long-term residential mental health facility is to address challenging mental health issues, improve each person’s functioning, build their support network and life skills, as well as promote a lasting recovery – and overall well-being – far beyond treatment.  

If you are interested in learning about the benefits of long-term mental health treatment, or would like to learn about Turnbridge’s residential mental health facilities for young people, please do not hesitate to reach out. Contact us at 877-581-1793 today.