How Long Should I Stay in Treatment for Primary Mental Health?

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

doctors hand on patient sleeping

The negative symptoms of a mental illness can be overwhelming. Sometimes people are diagnosed at an early age, but oftentimes people discover that they have a mental illness as they get older. As one enters recovery, treatment is individualized and focused on what that person needs to better cope with the symptoms of their mental illness. There are different options for recovery regarding length of treatment, depending on the needs of the individual. Here is a few (but not exhaustive)

  • Psychotherapy – This type of treatment often involves the individual meeting with a therapist as often as they recommend. Individuals typically develop tools from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which helps the person re-structure negative thought habits into more healthy, productive ones. Therapy can last for a few months to a few years, but it is recommended that a person maintain ongoing therapy until they feel more confident and resolved with their concerns.
  • Medication – This requires regular doctor visits for the individual to check in and ensure the medication they were prescribed is working well for them. A person may stay on medication for a few weeks up to a few years, depending on the need and suitability as recommended by a doctor.
  • Hospital and Residential Treatment Services – Options typically include 24-hour in-patient care, partial or full day hospitalization, or residential treatment, which provides the person with a temporary place to live and an active support team. Some health facilities may even offer 30 day programs.
  • Support Groups – A place to connect with people who suffer from the same mental illness or experience symptoms related to one, a support group is a wonderful place for people to connect and feel heard. With this, a person typically attends once a week whenever the meetings are held.


In short, people should spend as much time as they need in treatment for their mental health. Recovery is a crucial step towards overcoming our obstacles, and each person is different. Some people require a longer stay in treatment, and there is nothing wrong with that. What matters most is that each person receives the proper care and support needed to overcome challenges of mental illness. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to treatment in recovery – and there is no race to see who recovers quickest. If we are showing signs of progress and are consulting a doctor regularly, we are taking the right steps needed to lead a healthier life.

The serene estate of Avalon Malibu offers a unique experience for residential treatment. As one of California’s only certified primary mental health treatment facilities, our programs are trusted to provide trusted results.

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