Mother and daughter embracing while sitting at wellness centerAccording to studies, nearly 20% of people will suffer from a mental health condition during their lifetime. However, mental illness does not only affect those living with it. Mental health issues can have a significant impact on family relationships, structures and responsibilities. For this reason, considering the role of family is important when seeking mental health treatment.

Behavioral Hospital of Bellaire believes the role of family in mental health outpatient programs is important when seeking treatment for mental illness. In this article, we discuss the impact of mental illness on families, mental health outpatient treatment for families and its benefits. By the end of this article, the role of family in the recovery journey should be clear.

The Impact of Mental Health on Families

Mental health issues can have a significant impact on families. When a family member or loved one is struggling with mental illness, it can affect the dynamics and structures within the family unit. Family members may experience feelings of stress, worry and frustration as they try to support their loved one with a mental health condition.

Mental health issues can impact family routines and responsibilities. For example, a family may need to make adjustments to accommodate a loved one’s outpatient therapy appointments or medication management schedule. The emotional toll of supporting a family member with mental health issues can also be taxing, leading to feelings of exhaustion and emotional burnout.

Additionally, mental health issues can lead to abrupt and unexpected changes in behaviors. Those with depression may withdraw from family engagements, while those with bipolar disorder may lash out at family members for seemingly no reason. These changes may be confusing and family members may find it difficult to cope. To make matters more severe, many families are unequipped to deal with mental health issues, especially when it affects those they care about.

This is where outpatient services come into play. Outpatient services provide families with the support and resources they need to help them navigate these challenges. Mental health outpatient treatment can include family and couples therapy, which can provide a safe space for families to address their concerns, improve communication and develop coping strategies. 

By involving families in mental health outpatient programs, healthcare professionals can better understand the family dynamics and provide more comprehensive care for the individual.

Mental Health Outpatient Treatment For Families

Mental health outpatient programs are designed to provide support and treatment for people struggling with mental health issues. These programs offer a less intensive level of care compared to inpatient programs, allowing patients to continue their daily routines while receiving treatment. Family involvement in these programs can greatly enhance the effectiveness of treatment and support long-term recovery.

Family therapy

One of the ways family members can be involved in mental health outpatient programs is through family therapy sessions. These sessions provide a safe and supportive environment for family members to discuss their feelings and concerns related to their loved one’s mental health. 

Family therapy can also help improve communication and understanding between family members, which can lead to a more supportive and healthy environment for the patient. In family therapy, the definition of ‘family’ can be as broad or as narrow as needed. It may include parents, children, siblings, a spouse, grandparents or extended family members.

Family therapy offers a distinct advantage by emphasizing the entire family unit. It acknowledges that when one family member faces challenges, others may also be affected. It takes into account the entire family during the process of healing.

Couples therapy

Couples counseling services are another way that family members can participate in the mental health recovery process, albeit specifically focusing on the unique challenges of couples. Outpatient sessions provide a safe and supportive environment for couples to improve their relationship by addressing any mental health issues that pose a challenge for the relationship. 

In couples therapy, one or both of the people in counseling may be facing external stressors or mental health issues. By participating in couples therapy, couples can learn how to support each other, strengthen bonds and learn how to reduce relationship distress.

Benefits Of Family Participation In Outpatient Treatment

Family members can serve as a valuable resource for people in mental illness recovery. They can provide many benefits to the outpatient treatment process, including emotional support, help with daily tasks and more. The benefits of family participation in outpatient treatment include:

  • Emotional Support: Family members can provide emotional support to loved ones in therapy, offering comfort, encouragement and understanding as they face the recovery process.
  • Assistance with Daily Tasks: Family members can also help people in therapy with daily tasks that may be difficult for them to perform on their own, such as medication management and regularly attending therapy appointments. This is especially beneficial for those with more severe conditions or those just starting out on their healing journey.
  • Stability and Routine: Another benefit of family participation in outpatient treatment is that they offer a sense of stability and routine, which can be beneficial for loved ones with mental health challenges.
  • Identifying Triggers and Warning Signs: Family members can also assist in outpatient treatment by helping identify potential triggers and warning signs of relapse or worsening mental health symptoms. By recognizing the warning signs, family members can make sure their loved ones receive the care they need.
  • Coping Strategies: Another benefit of family participation in outpatient treatment is that they can help loved ones with mental health issues develop effective coping strategies when mental health strategies arise.
  • Resolving Conflict: Outpatient treatment sessions can also be used to address conflicts within the family, improving communication and fostering long-term healthier relationships.
  • Education and Support: Family members can receive education and support through outpatient therapy, learning how to better support their loved one’s mental health journey.

It’s Never Too Late

Seeing someone we care for struggle with mental illness can be difficult to cope with. Our first instinct is to jump in and help those we love, but sometimes that is easier said than done. We may not have the proper resources or fully understand what our loved one is going through. Even when we do understand, we may not know how we can make a difference. That’s where outpatient treatment steps in. 

By involving family in the mental health recovery process, patients can receive the support they need and family members can learn what they can do to help.

Behavioral Hospital of Bellaire is here to provide compassionate treatment for you and your loved ones. If you or a loved one is struggling with mental health, consider reaching out at 1-800-423-0017 or by completing this form.

About Behavioral Hospital of Bellaire

Behavioral Hospital of Bellaire is a facility that provides specialized behavioral health services focused on helping adults learn the skills necessary to live successful meaningful lives. We offer acute mental health treatment in our inpatient psychiatric facility as well as less intensive outpatient care.

Located in Houston, Texas, we take an integrative approach to mental health by having our multidisciplinary work together with patients to create customized treatment plans that focus on their individual goals. Our programs include servicing adolescents, adults and older adults. Some of the conditions we treat are depression, anxiety, substance use and more. We also have a variety of evidence-based treatment practices, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy.

To schedule a no-cost assessment or for more information, please call 1-833-379-0017