Continuity of care is an extremely important aspect of any and every rehabilitation program. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a mental illness, an addiction, or a combination thereof. If you want what you’ve learned in rehabilitation to stick with you throughout your lifetime, you and your provider need to plan for your long-term care.
Unfortunately, just having a plan isn’t enough. You have to know how to continue care after rehab if you want to lead a healthy life.
Complete the Program as Prescribed
The first thing you must do is finish your initial treatment. That might mean completing an inpatient residential program, or it may mean attending meetings in an outpatient program. That doesn’t just mean being present for treatment; it means being an active participant. In order to give you the highest quality of care, you should actively participate in assignments, therapy, group meetings, etc.
Your health care team is focused on patient care, which means they are focused on making sure you experience success. If you find yourself struggling, you should inform them of your troubles right away. They can provide you with tips to get your head in the game, and they can help you find the strength to complete treatments that you find difficult.
Attend Continuity of Care Treatments
Just because you’re done with rehabilitation doesn’t mean you’re done for good. Relapse is always a possibility, whether you’re struggling with a mental illness or an addiction.
To maintain your quality of care, you may need to step down to another level of care. For example, after completing an inpatient rehab program, you might transition to an outpatient program. From there, you could find yourself needing a sober living facility or other form of treatment.
With both addiction and mental illness, you’re at-risk of suffering a relapse if your continuity of care isn’t stable. For that reason, you would be wise to gradually lower your level of care until you feel confident to return to your daily life without fear of relapse.
Even after completing treatment, though, you can still take steps to protect yourself. This might include a 12-step program, regular meetings with a counselor, etc.
Know Your Triggers
If you have a mental illness or substance use issue, you have certainly been through some difficult times. For example, you may have had negative experiences with other people or been under an undue amount of stress. Whatever your story, certain stimuli (triggers) can take you back to those unpleasant places, which can be dangerous for your mental health.
We all have emotional triggers that can contribute to a relapse. It’s your job to know these triggers and learn how to manage them. Everyone’s triggers are different, but reacting to them is similar. A few steps include:
- Recognize that you’re having a reaction to better control your emotional impulse.
- Determine what is triggering the emotion and how you can rationally handle it.
- Choose what to say, do, or feel based on what’s in the best interest of your health.
Once you get good at identifying what your triggers are, you can avoid them altogether. For example, if spending all day inside the house contributes to your depression, you can make it a point to get outside every day.
Lean on Your Support Group
Support systems are very important to psychological health. Having a support system can enable you to get through a dark time without feeling alone, and it can remind you why your mental health and/or sobriety is so important.
Fortunately, health services and wellness services usually come with a built-in support system. Most programs require you to interact with many different people, so you’ll be able to mingle with other patients during both inpatient and outpatient treatment programs. Reach out to those people when you feel like you’re struggling.
Your support system can be comprised of anyone who wants to see you succeed, which means you can rely on important friends and family members to help too! Everyone’s support group will look different, but you should have some form of support built into your life.
Get More Support as Soon as You Think You Need It Get
You shouldn’t ever feel like a failure if you find yourself struggling. It’s normal to feel a mental illness creeping back into your life or an addiction coming to the forefront of your mind, especially if it’s something you’ve struggled with for a long time.
As soon as you feel like you need additional support, you should reach out to health care professionals. They can provide you with a variety of follow-up treatment options that will support your continuity of care plan, or they may suggest a different therapy option.
The Right Treatment For You
More than anything, patients need to know that they will receive the best possible care. It’s important to remember that the care you need today may be different from the care you need tomorrow. There are many types of therapy available at The Woods at Parkside, so reach out if you need assistance in the Columbus, Ohio area.
Call (614) 471-2552 to speak with one of our treatment specialists and learn more about our programs. Or click here to take an assessment.