When to Consider IOP
When to Consider IOP
People with mental health challenges may struggle with mood, behavior, and daily activities. Our doctors design programs to improve your circumstances in the short term, with the potential for long-term growth. IOP can be helpful in times of crisis, transition, or when things are just not improving the way they should. Below are some examples of common reasons people may seek IOP level care.
When stressful or traumatic events occur, anyone can feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. Being laid off, losing a loved one, or going through a divorce are all examples of situations where we might become lost in our pain and unable to cope without extra support. These are situations where IOP can help.
When Outpatient Care is Not Enough
Some people have an existing outpatient team, but notice they continue to struggle with managing their lives and/or that their psychiatric symptoms are worsening. Your outpatient team may also be confused about how to understand or help your symptoms, and may wish to have another opinion. In these cases your outpatient providers may discuss with you alternative options, including an IOP to help you move toward stability.
Transitioning from Inpatient/Partial Hospital to Outpatient Care
If you have recently experienced a psychiatric hospital inpatient or partial stay, you know how challenging it can be to readjust to daily life. IOP programs provide a safe landing area for patients leaving the hospital, allowing them to transition back to the community in smaller steps that just going back to outpatient care alone.
Going on or off medication, changing a dose, or transitioning to a new medication can cause instability in a number of ways. For example, you might see changes to your well-being, affect how your coping skills work, and increase or change your existing physical and psychiatric symptoms. IOP programs provide expert help in medication changes, and can help you adjust your coping skills to fit your new regimen.
Potential Contraindications for IOP Treatment
Generally, patients who are good candidates for IOP have significant mental health symptoms but do not need constant supervision like you would get in residential or inpatient care. If you feel unsafe when alone, you may want to seek inpatient treatment instead. If you live in an unstable environment, inpatient or residential hospitalization may also be a better fit.
However, IOP can be time consuming and takes you away from being at work, with your family, or otherwise engaged in important life activities. If you are able to find benefit from outpatient services alone you may not need the intensity of IOP treatment.
Our IOP combines the effects of individual therapy, group therapy, and medication management to help you improve your situation. People who are seeking any one of these services alone are not a good fit for IOP. For example, if you are only seeking medications or only seeking individual therapy, IOP is not the right fit for you. Similarly, if you are only looking for a referral to outpatient providers, IOP is not the right fit for you.
Please consult closely with your existing treatment providers if you are wondering whether IOP is the right place for you. This could include any providers who know you well, such as a therapist, psychiatric prescriber, and/or primary care doctor.
Next Steps in Your Care
If you have experienced mental health challenges, you may worry about regaining control over your life. The IOP program at South County Psychiatry may be able to help you refine your coping skills and move towards a meaningful life in which symptoms have less control over your decisions.
To make a referral, or to seek admission on your own behalf, please contact us via the phone or email listed below. We can answer your questions about our program, determine your insurance coverage, and help you move forward with strength and confidence.