When working with clients in the community, we, as clinicians, are frequently reassessing our clients’ mental status and overall state of well-being.
The most common levels of care for either psychiatric treatment or substance use rehabilitation treatment are:
Inpatient hospital setting
Partial Hospital Program (PHP)
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
Inpatient Hospital Settings are discussed in depth in Inpatient Treatment Explained, so now we will focus on Partial Hospital Programs.
For a Partial Hospital Program (PHP) level of care, the purpose is to
a) Stabilize and reduce acute signs and symptoms,
b) Increase functioning
c) Assist the client with integrating into community life.
Partial Hospital Programs are treatment programs held in a clinic or a hospital setting. A psychiatrist is in charge of the treatment. A PHP is used when you are having mental health symptoms that require more help than outpatient therapy can provide, but do not require you to stay overnight in a hospital. PHP can be used to treat mental health conditions or can specialize in the treatment of co-occurring mental health and substance-related disorders.
Criteria for admission to this level of care includes:
a) The client is not in imminent or current risk or harm to self, others, and/or property.
b) Assessment and diagnosis and/or treatment planning requires observation and interaction for at least 20 hours per week. This includes frequent interaction with the client and observation of the client with others. The treatment plan must be changed frequently which requires that the provider have face-to-face interactions with the client several times a week.
c) The client requires engagement and support which requires extended interaction between the client and the program. For example, the client requires a coordinated transition back into the community after treatment in Inpatient or a Residential Treatment Center, such as engagement with wraparound services or natural resources, due to the client’s inability to access or utilize family or other natural resources on their own.
d) The client requires a structured environment to practice and enhance skills. This requires face-to-face interactions several times a week that cannot be provided in a less intensive setting. These skills include maintaining their current living situation and/or returning to work or school.
e) The client requires a structured environment to complete goals and develop a plan for post-discharge services in a less intensive setting. Assistance may be needed to develop the skills necessary to self-manage medications and to make progress toward goals in spite of an environment that does not support recovery and/or limited community support services.
Megan Simmons, LCSW
To learn more about the different levels of care such as Inpatient Hospital Setting, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Outpatient, please visit Inpatient Treatment Explained and IOP and Outpatient Treatment Explained.
Megan Simmons is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in social work from Texas State University. While in college, she volunteered at Safe Place and was employed as a Hotline Advocate and House Manager. Megan worked at a medical hospital following graduation, where she discovered her passion for mental health treatment. Thereafter, Megan worked with MHMR in Comal County assisting residents in their homes with medication management, building life skills, and equipping them with knowledge and resources within their communities. Her next role was in an inpatient care setting where she specialized in working with adolescents and children conducting group therapy, individual therapy, and family therapy, as well as customizing programming for clients that needed a specialized treatment plan. Megan’s nine years of working in the mental health field has given her experience with a wide range of mental health concerns, including depression, anxiety, trauma, personality disorders, psychosis, Bipolar Disorder, and substance abuse. Megan has also completed Dialectical Behavior Therapy training so she is better able to assist clients with emotion regulation, personality disorders and self-harm issues. Megan takes a holistic approach to therapy and strives to empower her clients by teaching them tools they can utilize long after completing treatment.