Choosing the Appropriate Treatment Center
While the most difficult choice your employees may have to make is admitting that they have a problem, that is only the beginning of their journey to regain their sobriety or mental health. Today, there are thousands of treatment centers around the United States offering services, specific or broad, based on a wide range of theories, techniques and methods. Helping the employees and their family decide the best course of action is an important part of an EAP’s work.
Below, we look into the main factors for choosing a treatment center and how they should be approached:
- Cost – cost is, of course, always a consideration when choosing a treatment center. Employees will have differing insurance plans and financial situations. Cost can range from tens of thousands of dollars per month to free at a community-based program. However, cost should not be the primary determining factor of choosing the treatment program. Addiction and mental illness are chronic diseases and it is not unusual for clients to lapse or decompensate several times before they achieve long-term sobriety and stable mental health. The quality of the program will make a big difference in how many of these relapses occur. That being said, there are low cost, high-quality programs just as there are high cost, low quality programs.
- Dual Diagnosis – dual diagnosis is the term for treating multiple medical conditions – for example addiction and mental illness or a physical disorder. Dual diagnosis requires specialized care and it is common for clients to experience both addiction and mental health disorders at the same time. If a facility cannot handle both disorders, the client may not receive appropriate care.
- Levels of Care – there is a wide range of services that can be offered to those entering addiction treatment or mental health counseling. From detoxification through to aftercare, the levels of care specifically target the stage of change at which the client finds themselves. Working through each level of care is important to getting closer to normalcy when they are discharged. Be mindful of the levels of care offered at the facilities you research, ensuring that a complete continuum of care can be provided to the employee.
- Follow-up and Communication – follow up and communication is critically important to the therapeutic process. There are many stakeholders during treatment including the client/patient themselves, their family, and of course you as their assistance professional. Be sure to understand the communication policies at the treatment center of choice as well as having a frank conversation with the employee and their family about what they expect. Being apprised of the process allows for greater support and longer-term health.
- Accreditation – with the proliferation of treatment centers around the country, accreditation such as the Joint Commission have become more important. These independent certifications and accreditations help ensure quality of care and keep the facilities focused on client/patient care and safety. While a lack of accreditation may not translate to lower quality, a facility that submits to accreditation standards shows their dedication to quality.
- Comprehensive Family Program – the family is often a contributory cause to addiction or mental health problems. They are typically part of the solution as well. Ensuring that the client has access to a comprehensive family program, both during treatment and afterwards, helps improve the chances of long-term sobriety and/or mental health. Family meetings, family therapy and the aforementioned follow up and communication are all critical parts of a solid family program.
- Complete Aftercare and Follow-Up – Beyond transitional housing, proper aftercare requires a dedicated and comprehensive alumni program. This will include assisting clients/patients with finding work and social opportunities after treatment, following up with them to check in and assess their current situation and coordinating meetings whereby the principles of therapy can be reinforced.
At times, it can be hard to make the choice between treatment centers. Unfortunately, due to the chronic nature of the disease of mental illness and addiction, your employees may have visited a few or even many treatment centers. Over time, this can lead to frustration and distrust in the system. Having the appropriate and comprehensive referral resources available to the employees early on can give them renewed confidence in changing their life and health for the better. Call Us for More Information 877-772-1930.