When seeking a mental health treatment program, you are likely to notice numerous options like intensive outpatient programs, residential treatment options and partial hospitalization programs. If you are a veteran looking for treatment for substance abuse and/or addiction treatment, you might be wondering which option is best for you.
The level of care that is most suited to meet your needs is best determined through an initial consultation with a therapist or through a level of care assessment, but many veterans experience success through partial hospitalization programs.
What is a partial hospitalization program (PHP)?
Partial hospitalization is a full-time day program, and you do not stay overnight as a resident of the facility. Clients reside in their homes for the duration of the program.
Many programs require attendance five days a week, totaling around 30 hours (hours vary by program), to provide support and stabilization. Stability and coping with day-to-day challenges are vital achievements at the PHP level. Instead of attending work or school, you will focus on treatment goals, such as maintaining your overall recovery, expanding your recovery support network and learning skills to sustain recovery efforts.
What does a PHP include?
There are a number of ways in which partial hospitalization programs are conducted to promote recovery. Some programs which may benefit veteran recovery include:
- Recreational therapy, where clients participate in healthy prosocial activities to support psychological and physical health, recovery and well-being
- Equine-assisted therapy, where clients work with horses in an experiential manner under the guidance of a licensed mental health professional
- Music therapy, where the use of music interventions is applied to reduce stress, improve mood and self-expression
- Guided meditation groups
- Life skills focused on creating a schedule, development of a routine, budgeting, personal responsibility, planning ahead/decision making, guidance and support with the development of interpersonal and collaboration skills
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Routine family updates and therapy as appropriate
What is included in your PHP depends on your goals, the specific PHP program offerings, what your therapist deems necessary and what is going to best benefit your recovery.
Why will veterans benefit from a PHP?
Anyone struggling with a mental health disorder can benefit from a partial hospitalization program, especially if other program types have not been successful or if more supervision is required than other outpatient programs can offer.
Veterans may find partial hospitalization programs beneficial for a number of reasons, including:
- Life skills planning can help veterans through the transition of leaving service and reentering civilian life
- The regimented schedule of a PHP may benefit those who are familiar and comfortable in the regimented schedule of a military base, which can help establish a beneficial routine in their daily life
- Encountering others also struggling with a substance use disorder may provide insight and encouragement as well as a sense of community familiar to those accustomed to being surrounded by their military family
- Being able to go home after programs may allow veterans to begin using proper coping mechanisms and recovery tools immediately in daily life
Many veterans struggle as they transition out of the military and into civilian life. Certain factors may predispose veterans to develop an addiction as a result, including:
- Experiencing a traumatic event or serious injury
- Being a married post-9/11 veteran
- Serving in active combat
- Knowing someone killed or injured
Veterans with one or more of the above experiences, combined with a mental health condition such as post-traumatic stress disorder, are predisposed to developing a substance use disorder. With the right care, however, you can get yourself on the right track toward healthy living once more.
Ready to start recovery?
At Real Recovery, veterans attend group therapy with both fellow veterans and adult men who have not served in the military. This mixed-treatment population setting allows veterans to develop skills for relating with civilians and navigating life after the military.
Additionally, Real Recovery is part of the network of VA-CCN facilities that accepts veteran benefits. Each facility in the Community Care Network (CCN) uses industry-standard practices to promptly pay for services and administer treatment.
In order to secure funding for your treatment through the VA-CCN, you will need authorization from the VA as well as a doctor’s referral. Most people ensure these by making an appointment with a primary care doctor through their local VA office. To access the CCN, talk to your doctor about attending Real Recovery for outpatient care.