Kinds of Mental Health Services

These definitions may help you understand more about the types of mental health services that you can get on Medicaid.

If you are getting outpatient services, you can go to a community mental health center. You may also go to a provider who is in private practice. This provider may have a one-on-one practice, or they may be part of a group of providers. Some providers are part of clinics or hospitals.

Community mental health centers usually offer a wider range of services than single providers. If your have many needs, a community mental health center may be a better choice for you. There are many kinds of mental health services. It may be helpful to know what each kind of service aims to do. If you have a question about a certain type of service, talk to your therapist. Not every program offers all of these services.

  • Outpatient Counseling is offered in an office or other community setting. Adults, children and teens can get outpatient counseling. It usually lasts less than one hour. Outpatient counseling can include one-to-one therapy. This is where you will talk to a counselor individually. Group therapy is where you talk about problems with a group of people. There is also family therapy. This is where you and your family members talk to a counselor.

  • Intensive Case Management is offered when people have many needs that are best helped by special services. Intensive Case Management services are community-based services. They are for people who need extra support to live in the community. A case manager will coordinate these services or connect you to other services and agencies.

  • Home-based Treatment Services are healing services given in a person’s home. This is done when the home setting is an important part of treatment.

  • Medication Management is an ongoing review of how well your medicines are working. It is only done by a doctor or other trained and licensed professional.

  • Partial Hospitalization (day hospital) provides all the treatment services of a psychiatric hospital. But instead of staying in the hospital, the patients go home each evening.

  • Emergency/Crisis Services are for mental health emergencies. They are available 24 hours per day, 7 days a week. They can be given in a hospital emergency room, or by a mobile crisis team.

  • Therapeutic Group Homes or Community Residences are structured living situations. They are for people who do not need inpatient hospital services. But, these people do need 24-hour therapeutic services.

  • Inpatient Hospital treatment is where patients receive full range of psychiatric treatment. It is a hospital setting and it operates 24 hours a day. These programs are right for people who also need medical services.

  • Acute Treatment Unit provides a full range of psychiatric treatment. It is offered in a structured 24-hour-a-day setting. This level of care is for people who need 24-hour structured services but not hospital services.

  • Consumer-run or peer programs are run by people who have lived experience of a mental illness. Programs include drop-in centers, clubhouses and job clubs. They may be only run by consumers, or they may be run in partnership with professional programs. They offer social opportunities, support groups, peer counseling and recreational activities.

  • Community Support Programs are structure programs that provide mental health services. They also offer daily living skills training. This training includes budgeting and hygiene. It also includes social and recreational skills, housekeeping and other skills.

It’s important to advocate for your needs. You should always ask questions when a professional suggests a certain kind of mental health treatment. Questions you should ask include:

  • How long do you expect that I will be in this level of treatment?
  • What are the advantages of this service or program? What are the disadvantages?
  • How will this kind of treatment help with my particular problem?
  • Will my insurance or Medicaid cover the cost?

If you are uneasy about the answers you get, or still have questions, get a second opinion. As a Medicaid member, you are entitled to get a second opinion.