Mental health rehabilitation is a form of rehabilitation that focuses on helping people to recover lost skills in coping with the demands of everyday life and restoring relationships that may have become strained or damaged as a result of problems related to mental illness or some type of substance abuse. The rehab may take place in a controlled environment, such as a clinic. However, it is also possible to undergo rehabilitation on an outpatient basis. The attending physician can work with the patient and his or her family to determine the most effective course of treatment for the individual.
In many cases, mental health rehabilitation is part of a larger rehab effort aimed at helping an individual escape from some form of addiction. Often, addiction seriously impacts the ability and the desire of the addict to engage in normal social interaction, pay attention to hygiene, and in general deal with simple tasks that most people perform each day. As a result of the abuse of various substances, the individual may actually lose the skills to function in society. By address the emotional and mental components of the addiction and retraining the patient to function as part of the surrounding community, he or she can recapture those lost abilities.
A form of rehabilitation can also be helpful for people recovering from depression and severe anxiety disorders. This type of treatment can often be managed successfully on an outpatient basis through a local rehabilitation center. In this form, the rehab attempts to reorient the individual to a state of perception that is devoid of the negative emotions that shaped the patient’s worldview during his or her illness. Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is one form of mental health rehabilitation that is often successful with people who are overcoming severe anxiety disorders, in that the therapy helps defuse the fear that sometimes grips the patient when attempting to engage in normal social activities.
There are both individual and group forms of mental health rehabilitation. Individual rehab efforts normally involve working one on one with the patient to regulate the use of any medication necessary to maintain a balanced emotional state, as well as regular therapy sessions that support the patient in reentering society. The group rehab effort may include special classes that address such common issues as grooming, the preparation of meals, and simple social skills that help the patient to deal with such common tasks as grocery shopping, attending a party, or having a meal out with friends.
Like drug rehabilitation and other forms of rehab, mental health rehabilitation is a process that may take months or even years to complete. During that time, the patient is likely to enjoy periods when progress comes easy, and other times when forward movement is almost non-existent. As the rehabilitation continues, it is important for loved ones to be supportive and make it a point to acknowledge each step forward, no matter how small it may seem. With the right treatment and proper support, it is possible for the patient to reenter society and enjoy life once more.