How To Support My Child In Outpatient Treatment

Your child has started outpatient treatment for their mental health. They start attending their weekly sessions and seem to be moving in the right direction. As a parent, you’re glad your child is getting the support they need. Yet, you find yourself wishing there was more you could do.

Fortunately, outpatient programs are a flexible treatment option that enable you to support your child as they embark on their mental wellness journey. At Branches Excel Forth Worth, we strongly believe in the power of family involvement in mental health treatment – and we’re not alone in that belief. According to the American Psychiatry Association (APA), family involvement in mental health treatment can improve outcomes.

How Can I Support My Child in an Outpatient Program?

If your child has recently started an outpatient program, the following are some actionable steps you can take to support them:

1) Do independent research

The first step in supporting your child in a mental health treatment program is to learn more about their specific mental health challenges and what the outpatient treatment process involves. You can start by doing your own research online. You may also reach out to the mental health professionals involved in your child’s care, as they will likely be able to point you in the right direction.

If this is your first time being exposed to an outpatient program, you may consider learning more about the different kinds of outpatient programs, what to expect from treatment and its benefits.

Likewise, if you’re unfamiliar with your child’s diagnosis you may want to consider learning more about their mental health condition. This can include identifying symptoms, warning signs of declining mental health and effective coping mechanisms.

By taking the necessary steps to understand your child’s unique challenges, you can show solidarity and have open conversations about mental health.

2) Take an active role in your child’s recovery

At Branches Excel Fort Worth, we encourage family members to get involved in their child’s outpatient treatment. Our partial hospitalization program, for example, includes family therapy sessions.

Being present during treatment shows your child that you support them no matter what and gives you an opportunity to better understand their struggles. Witnessing their sessions and taking an active role in them can be incredibly impactfully, strengthening the connection between you and your child.

In addition to this, these sessions give you and your loved one a secure environment to work through any issues or conflicts that may have contributed to their mental health struggles.

3) Help your child practice healthy habits

A great benefit of outpatient programs is that after your child’s therapy sessions, they can come home and resume their regular activities.

Unlike an inpatient setting, where patients learn to practice healthy habits in a monitored environment, outpatient programs enable you and your child to work together to implement these practices independently.

Outpatient treatment typically  includes activities such as mindfulness practices, self-care techniques and exercise. Encourage your child to talk about the healthy habits they learned during treatment and offer to join them as they practice their new skills. This gives you an opportunity not only to support their recovery, but also to strengthen your familial bonds.

4) Provide emotional support

When your child joins an outpatient program, it can be both rewarding and challenging. Outpatient treatment usually challenges patients to confront difficult thoughts and emotions – this can be even more challenging for young patients. For this reason, now more than it is important for you to offer your emotional support.

Let your child know that you are there for them and that you are proud of the steps they are taking. Also, be mindful to avoid judgement or criticism. Participating in an outpatient program can be a delicate process, and your support in this time can be incredibly impactful.

5) Take care of your mental health

Watching your child go outpatient treatment can be emotionally taxing for parents. Although you should do your best to emotionally support them, it is important that you take care of your mental well-being as well.

Consider seeking out support services (such as support groups and educational workshops) for parents of children with mental health and behavioral issues. These services can help you navigate this difficult time and give you the support you need to be emotionally present for your child.

Furthermore, you can take this opportunity to learn more from others facing similar issues with their children, which can give you a new perspective and help you see tat recovery is indeed possible.

6) Understand that improvements may not be immediate

Overall, it’s important to remember that outpatient programs are not an overnight solution to your child’s mental health needs. Oftentimes, mental health is an ingoing journey. While some days may be easier, there may also be challenges and setbacks. Do not get discouraged – this is all part of the process.

As your child progresses through the outpatient program, there may be days where you feel frustrated or even hopeless. However, your continued support and understanding can help your child stay on track to meet their mental health goals.

Branches Excel Fort Worth Cares

Every parent hopes that their child is happy and healthy. When we see them struggling with their mental health, it can be difficult to know where to turn for help.

At Branches Excel Fort Worth, we care about your child’s wellbeing. Located in Forth Worth, Texas, we provide outpatient treatment to children ages 5-18 in a compassionate and understanding environment.

We are here to help. Reach out at 817-335-6429 to get in touch with us today.

If you think you or your child is experiencing a mental health crisis, call 988 or get to the nearest emergency room.

For medical emergencies, call 911 or get to the nearest emergency room.