Your loved one has decided to seek outpatient treatment for their mental health. They start attending their sessions on a regular basis, and it seems like things are finally moving in the right direction. Yet, you find yourself wishing there was more you could do.

Fortunately, thanks to the flexibility of outpatient programs, there are many ways that you can support your loved one as they receive treatment for their mental health. Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services firmly believes in the power of involving family members in the mental health recovery process – and we’re not the only ones.

According to the American Psychiatry Association, family involvement in mental health treatment has been shown to improve outcomes. Learn more about some of the steps you can take to support your loved one as they participate in an outpatient program.

How Can I Support My Loved One in an Outpatient Program?

1) Educate yourself

The first step in supporting your loved one is to learn more about their specific mental health challenges and what the outpatient treatment process involves. You can start by doing your own research or even by reaching out to the team that makes up the outpatient program your loved one is attending.

For example, this may be the first you have been exposed to an outpatient program. In this case, you may have questions about what an outpatient program is, how it works and how to choose the right kind of treatment.

Likewise, you may be unfamiliar with your loved one’s mental health diagnosis. In this case, you may find yourself digging into their mental health condition, potential warning signs and effective coping strategies.

Regardless, learning more about your loved one’s unique challenges and recovery can help you better understand what they are going through and how you can support them.

2) Get involved

Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services strongly encourages family members to get involved with their loved one’s outpatient treatment. This can include group or family therapy sessions.

Being present during treatment shows your loved one that you support them and gives you an opportunity to better understand their struggles. Witnessing their sessions and taking part in them can be incredibly powerful, as it strengthens the connection between you and your loved one.

In addition to this, these sessions give you and your loved one a safe environment to work through any issues or conflicts that may have arisen as a result of their mental illness.

3) Help your loved one practice healthy habits

Another strategy you can use to show your loved one support is to help them practice healthy habits. One of the main goals of outpatient programs is for the patient to learn new coping mechanisms and implement them in their daily life.

Unlike an inpatient setting, where the patient learns to practice healthy habits in a monitored environment, patients in outpatient programs must take the initiative to implement these practices independently. Sometimes, establishing these new routines can be challenging, which is where you have the potential to step in.

Outpatient treatment usually includes activities such as mindfulness practices, self-care and exercise. Encourage your loved one to engage in these activities or offer to join them. This gives you an opportunity not only to support their recovery but also to strengthen your relationship.

4) Provide emotional support

Participating in an outpatient program is rewarding, but that doesn’t mean that it does not present its set of challenges. While partaking in the program, your loved one is likely going to start dealing with some difficult emotions. As a result, one of the most important things you can do to support your loved one in outpatient treatment is to offer emotional support.

Be sure to let them know that you are there for them, that you believe in their ability to overcome their mental illness and that you are proud of the steps they are taking. Remember to avoid judgment or criticism. This is a delicate time in your loved one’s life, and your support can make an impact as they achieve renewed mental well-being.

5) Seek out support services

Remember, your loved one may be the one in the outpatient program, but it’s important for you to take care of yourself too. Watching your loved one deal with mental health challenges can be emotionally taxing, which is why there are outpatient treatment support services available for family members. These services may include support groups, therapy sessions or educational workshops.

Overall, these services can be a great resource to help you navigate this difficult time. You can hear from others who are facing similar issues with their partners, which can give you a new perspective and help you see that your loved one’s recovery is possible. These resources can also help teach you how best to support someone in an outpatient program, equipping you with even more tools to be there for them.

6) Understand that recovery is a journey

Finally, remind yourself that mental health recovery is often an ongoing journey. As your loved one participates in an outpatient program, some days will be easier than others. There may be challenges and setbacks, especially as your loved one begins to work through difficult feelings and emotions.

You may feel frustrated at times – and that’s okay. Supporting your loved one during mental health recovery can be frustrating. However, your support and understanding can help them stay on track and continue to work toward their mental health goals.

Help Is Waiting at Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services

At Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services, we understand that sometimes life just feels too heavy, but you are not alone. Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, our compassionate team provides a judgment-free path to mental health recovery. Old Vineyard’s outpatient programs treat adolescents, adults and seniors.

Whether you or your loved one is struggling, we are here to help out. Reach out at 855-576-5920 or complete this form to get started on your path to recovery today.

If you are in crisis and need assistance immediately, call 911 or 988 for the Suicide Prevention Hotline.

Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services

Old Vineyard Behavioral Health Services is a treatment center that provides compassionate inpatient and outpatient treatment to help those achieve meaningful mental health and wellness. We treat a variety of behavioral health disorders including trauma, depression, mood disorders and more.

Our team of dedicated staff pride themselves on creating a safe and welcoming environment for all of our patients and their loved ones. Some of our services include our treatment, specialty and outpatient programs. Located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, we provide a beautiful, campus-like atmosphere.

To schedule a consultation with us or for more information, please call 855-602-5920.