What Is A Mental Health Clinic? Crucial Facts To Know

There are available hospitals around us for physical illness, but have you ever wondered where to go for mental illness? Do general hospitals have a service for mentally ill patients? Is there any specific hospital for that? It’s confusing to many people. However, a mental health clinic is a place for mental illness.

So, what is a mental health clinic actually? This is a specialized hospital that treats severe mental disorders. Mental health clinics are also known as mental health units, psychiatric hospitals, or behavioral health units.

The mental health clinics differ based on the types of illness such as short-term patients and long-term patients. This article will give you an overall view of mental health clinics. So dive in and learn about this type of clinic and its services.

What Is A Mental Health Clinic

What Is A Mental Health Clinic?

As was previously said, a mental clinic is a hospital that treats patients with mental illnesses. Schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other severe or mild mental illnesses are among the psychiatric conditions.

Many people in the USA or out of the USA think mental disorders mean the person becomes mad. But being mad is not the only mental illness. Anxiety, depression, trauma, sexual dysfunction, etc., could also be on the list.

However, depending on the ailment, a mental health clinic may offer short-term, outpatient, or long-term treatments. Patients who require routine checks in a specialized and regulated setting may require long-term care.

According to a study by the World Psychiatry Office Journal, 47.4% of Americans are on an estimated lifetime prevalence of having one or more mental disorders.

On the other hand, according to Clubhouse International report, in the entire world, 1 in every 4 people has a mental illness.

How Does A Mental Health Clinic Help?

To put that in perspective, the purpose of a mental health clinic is to deliver rehabilitation for mental health conditions. Treatment for mental health conditions can take many forms, including psychotherapy, medicine, counseling, mental support, and so on.

Types Of Mental Health Clinics

Based on mental illness, mental health clinics are classified into different types. It’s because all kinds of illnesses don’t need the same treatment. Here are the most important ones to understand their purposes.

●    Crisis Stabilization Unit (CSU)

The CSU is a short-term treatment unit for mental sickness. It is for people who need emergency mental support. Generally, the average staying time at CSU is 3 days. CSUs are generally open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

●    Open Units

Open units are not for severe patients. Patients who are about to be discharged after treatment or voluntarily admit themselves are treated in open units or wards.

In essence, the open units remain unlocked. However, they might have locked entrances and exits in some locations. Patients are not permitted to take their own prescription medication that has been prescribed outside of the open unit.

●    Medium-Term/Hospital Inpatient Settings

The medium-term or hospital inpatient setting is a type of mental clinic that treats a mental patient for several weeks. Most of the time, the period is less than 30 days.

These medium-term mental clinics generally monitor the patients' conditions for several weeks to determine whether the treatment impacts them. After 30 days, the patients are generally referred to long-term medications if the inpatient treatment is not enough for him/her.

●    Long-Term Care/ Residential Mental Health Treatment Facility

The name shows the objective of long-term care. Long-term Care takes the agenda for a long period, like two or three years, to treat mentally sick patients.

Disorders like schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, depression, etc., need long-term treatment. In psychiatric hospitals, physicians also stand by to give medical treatment as well.

●    Psychiatric Hospitals

Psychiatric hospitals exclusively give mental treatment as well as physical treatment.

These types of hospitals provide treatment for geriatric concerns, eating disorders, drug abuse, self-harm, anxiety, and other types of mental illness. Aside from this, there are Juvenile wards especially developed for treating children with mental health issues.

●    Drug Rehabilitation Center

These types of mental clinics provide services to drug-addicted people to bring them to normal life. Detoxifications services are provided here. Typically, these types of facilities take 30 days for treatment. But this could be increased or decreased depending on the policy of the centers.

●    Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHPs)

This is a specialized mental clinic that gives services 6 hours or more a day. The PHP program is also called the “Day Program.” This program is facilitated 7 days a week. Thus, this is more of an educational endeavor than an intensive one.

Here, psychiatrists provide group therapy, private counseling, and sessions for mental health education.

Some Types Of Mental Illness A Human Can Encounter With

There are several mental illness conditions a human can encounter with. These are mainly classified as follows.

●    Schizophrenia Spectrum

It’s one of the most dangerous mental illnesses. The brain of a schizophrenia patient experiences delusions, which causes them to become detached from reality. Hallucinations, delusions, and disordered thinking and speaking are the patients' major symptoms.

●    Bipolar Disorders

Bipolar disorders often spark extreme mood fluctuations. Patients with bipolar disorder engage in extreme behaviors while heavily intoxicated. The term “Mania” is used for this state.

On the other hand, they can be depressed, which is an incredibly low state. Bipolar disorder episodes can endure for several weeks or months at a time.

●    Anxiety Disorder

Anxiety disorder is a type of phobia for the future. People get highly anxious and overthink every future event. Anxiety disorders develop as a result of attempting to avoid any bad luck. Panic disorder is another name for anxiety disorder.

●    Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

OCD is an adverse mental condition that constantly pushes people to think about a matter. As a result, people behave compulsively. For example, unwanted thinking and images repeatedly enter your mind.

As an alternative, you can choose a habitual physical or mental action that could provide you with relief. For instance, you would check all of the windows and doors in your house out of concern for robbers or burglars. Additionally, you could frequently bite your nails or pull your hair.

●    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD)

PTSD may happen by experiencing or witnessing any shocking event. This will push you to nightmares, flashbacking, and anxiety. Aside from these, overthinking about the event is another symptom.

For example, you may witness someone or a group attack and severely beat someone. This will force you to think about it, give flashbacks, and so on.

●    Personality Disorder

An emotionally unstable individual has a personality disorder. He or she is consequently emotionally cut off from other people. Additionally, the personality disorder sufferer intends to harm themselves.

He or she only exhibits unhealthy conduct and ideas. Borderline and antisocial personality disorders are two examples of the disorders.

●    Sexual Dysfunction

Premature ejaculation is a typical issue for people who experience sexual dysfunction as a result of mental illness. This would be an orgasmic disorder in females.

What Is A Community Mental Health Center?

The community mental health centers provide psychological treatment in particular communities. This concept was developed in the USA in the 1960s when President John F. Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Act in 1963.

It was designed to provide mental health treatment among the communities. The concept of institutionalization turns into treating individuals by establishing their own mental health centers in their communities.

These health centers are established based on the communities’ unique needs. Basically, the centers provide services as mental hospitals provide and decrease the pressure on mental hospitals.

In 2019, there were over 2700 community mental health clinics operating all over the country. They largely receive money from the federal and state governments.

Children and adults with chronic mental illness receive assistance from community mental health facilities. Additionally, those who are released from inpatient psychiatric facilities receive counseling and treatment here.

When Do You Need Primary Treatment For Mental Illness?

Mental health gets severe by stepping forward across its primary condition. Before your beloved one becomes a serious mental patient, he/she needs primary treatment from inpatient mental health care.

So, if you notice the following signs on your loved one or even on you, you should go to an inpatient mental health center as soon as possible.

●    Intending To Cause Harm To Others Or Yourself

You must check yourself into an inpatient mental health facility if you believe that you or a loved one has the intention of harming you or those around you. If you seek treatment at the very earliest stage of such disorders, a short-term treatment will stabilize your mental health.

Aside from this, the following signs need early treatment in an inpatient facility.

  • Thinking about suicide
  • No eating, extremely tired, low-energy
  • No sleeping or oversleeping
  • Feeling sad or depressed
  • Overthinking
  • Extreme mood swing
  • Suddenly being unsocialized
  • Hearing sounds, but there is no sound around
  • Seeing objects or people, but there is nothing around
  • Thinking someone is following you, trying to harm, etc.

If someone is facing such conditions, he/she needs immediate medical help.


Read through these frequently asked questions to know more about mental health clinics and their purposes.

Q: What Is Mental Health Walk-In Clinics?

The mental health walk-in clinic is nothing but an emergency unit of general or mental health clinics. For example, if you are feeling depressed or a little anxious, you can walk-in your local hospital. They will give you primary treatment, and refer you to a specialized mental hospital if needed.

Or, you can walk-in a mental health clinic for immediate mental support when there is no regular therapist or counsellor available.

Final Note

Mental health clinics are specialized facilities to give psychological treatments to mentally ill patients. There are different types of mental health clinics for different types of patients.

If you or your loved ones face any type of mental health issue, you should take immediate steps for treatment.

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