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Breaking the Stigma: The Benefits of Outpatient Mental Health Clinics for Men

men discussing the stigma and Benefits of Outpatient Mental Health Clinics

Reaching out for help as a man can feel next to impossible most of the time. Society tells men to hold it together, keep their heads high, never show signs of weakness, and not break under any condition. Men spend their entire lives developing a tough exterior so they can keep moving forward despite the inevitable difficulties and problems that arise. They learn to continue in the face of adversity and be a source of strength for the family and friends who rely on them.

Unfortunately, that means most men who struggle with mental health problems tuck those concerns behind the walls they build, too. If you have ever dealt with depression, anxiety, or another mental health disorder, you probably did the same. However, you are far from alone no matter how alone you may feel. Stigma keeps men from opening up when they need help so it’s easy to feel alone.

Thankfully, mental health treatment programs are available as soon as you are ready to reach out. Outpatient programs are one of the best options for men seeking help for their mental health. They play a critical role in breaking down stigma by providing accessible services and offering many other outpatient mental health clinic benefits. How do outpatient programs provide the much-needed support that men with mental health disorders need and where can you go if you feel it might be time to ask for help?

Understanding the Stigma Around Men’s Mental Health

Societal expectations place the responsibility of providing for the family on men. You likely know at least a few men you know you can rely on when you need them, and you likely do your best to do the same for others in your life. Men are expected to tough it out when times get hard and to keep their feelings to themselves; talking about anything in that realm suggests they are weak.

In reality, millions of men struggle with mental health disorders. Their silence on the topic does not mean they do not experience anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, and more. Studies show that nearly 1 in 10 men experience some form of mental health disorder. According to Mental Health America:

  • 6 million men experience depression every year
  • Nearly equal amounts of men and women experience bipolar disorder
  • Men account for an estimated 10% of individuals with anorexia or bulimia
  • More than 4 times as many men die by suicide compared to women
  • About 1 in 5 men develop alcohol dependency in their life

However, men are far less likely to seek help for their mental health than women. Less than half of men who experience a mental health disorder receive treatment. Various factors contribute to their silence, including stigma, social norms, difficulties communicating, and downplaying symptoms. 

The Role of Outpatient Mental Health Clinics

Outpatient mental health clinics are a crucial part of addressing and breaking the stigma associated with men’s mental health. There are a few primary forms of mental health treatment including inpatient programs, partial hospitalization programs (PHP), intensive outpatient programs (IOP), and outpatient programs. Outpatient programs offer treatment services on an outpatient basis. These programs make mental health treatment more accessible to those who need it but cannot commit to the time required by an inpatient or partial hospitalization program. 

Mental health services at an outpatient clinic include options such as individual counseling, group therapy, support groups, life coaching, job support, nutritional counseling and medication management. Mental health treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution, though, so most facilities develop individualized treatment plans for each person who seeks help. 

For example, if you are struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, you would benefit more from a trauma-focused therapy approach instead of traditional cognitive behavioral therapy. Or if you experience bipolar disorder, you will benefit from medication management during treatment. Some programs can also adjust the number of treatment hours based on your needs or existing responsibilities. Outpatient mental health clinics conduct an assessment during the admissions process to determine what each individual needs and provide treatment accordingly.

Outpatient Mental Health Clinic Benefits

Outpatient programs are by far the most versatile treatment option. This is one of the many outpatient mental health clinic benefits. Some of the other benefits of outpatient mental health treatment include:

  • Accessibility. Outpatient programs are often the most accessible option for treatment. Finances are a common barrier to treatment for people, but outpatient mental health clinics are usually more financially feasible than inpatient or PHP because of their reduced treatment hours. 
  • Balanced schedule. The reduced hours of outpatient programs also enable people with existing responsibilities to receive mental health care and support without having to step back from other commitments. You can often balance work, school, family, friends, and other commitments while still attending your outpatient program.
  • Personalized care. One of the greatest outpatient mental health clinic benefits is the adaptable nature of this type of treatment. You not only receive an individualized treatment plan tailored to your needs, but you can also often adjust your treatment schedule to manage your other responsibilities and maintain commitments.
  • Non-judgmental environment. Men already deal with enough stigma and judgment in their everyday lives. Outpatient mental health treatment is a non-judgmental environment that places you in a group of other men who understand exactly what you are going through. They experience similar struggles and face the same stigma and shame you may feel.
  • Community support. The community support available is another one of the greatest outpatient mental health clinic benefits. Along with a non-judgemental environment, outpatient programs provide community support, something that is often lacking for men dealing with mental health disorders. Finding yourself in a community of men who know what you deal with every day is an important part of the process.
  • Confidentiality. All mental health treatment programs provide private and confidential treatment services. Confidentiality is a critical factor in reducing fear of judgment, especially for men working to overcome the shame associated with seeking treatment. You are far more likely to share honestly about your experiences when you know that privacy is of the utmost importance.

These are only some of the many outpatient mental health clinic benefits. Outpatient services offer a unique way for men with families, work, and other obligations to receive support while still meeting their other responsibilities. They keep you from having to decide between taking care of your mental health and taking care of your family; outpatient mental health treatment enables you to take care of both.

The Benefits of Men’s Outpatient Mental Health Clinics

Outpatient mental health treatment programs are a useful option for anyone who needs help with mental health or substance use disorders. Many facilities offer treatment in a co-ed environment, though, which can detract from the potential for healing. Men may have a harder time in co-ed treatment spaces because the stigma they face in the outside world can sometimes make its way into the treatment environment, too.

No matter how supportive a treatment program might be, most men still have the underlying societal expectations running through their minds. They often feel they need to have things together no matter how badly they may feel on the inside. Think about it: how willing would you be to share openly about your struggles while sitting in a co-ed therapy group?

Gender-specific mental health treatment is an important option for many men. Men’s outpatient mental health treatment strips away much of the stigma you face outside of treatment. When you select a men’s mental health treatment facility, you find yourself surrounded by men who understand where you come from and what you deal with every day.

Men and women experience mental health disorders differently, and men’s mental health treatment facilities recognize and consider those differences when providing care. The staff, therapists, clinicians, and instructors all understand the unique challenges that men face when they decide to seek help. Opting for a men’s mental health treatment facility could mean the difference between getting the help you need and still feeling like you need to hide your struggles.

Outpatient Mental Health Treatment at Into the Light

Outpatient mental health clinics play a crucial role in breaking down the stigma surrounding men’s mental health by providing accessible services, fostering supportive environments, and promoting education and awareness. They provide a safe, non-judgmental space for men to address their mental health concerns while still balancing their responsibilities outside of treatment. The greatest outpatient mental health clinic benefit is the way it equips men with the tools and coping skills they need to build a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life.

Into the Light is a treatment facility that offers outpatient mental health treatment for men in Redlands, CA and the surrounding areas. We offer services including counseling, psychiatry, therapy groups, job support, life skills, and more through our outpatient facility. We understand the difficulties that men face when they make the courageous decision to seek help for their mental health. Our team steps up to you where you are and walks beside you each step of the way.

If you would like to learn more about the programs available at Into the Light, call us now or submit an online request form to speak with an admissions specialist. We will outline your options and help you determine which approach best fits your needs. Into the Light is here for you no matter where you are in your journey, and we will support you from the first time you call. Don’t wait – reach out today.

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