Acute stabilization refers to the services provided for someone in the midst of a psychiatric or substance use-related crisis. Such an event might result in severe impairment in functioning or even a life-threatening outcome. Stabilization actions involve the use of psychiatric and medical interventions on a short-term basis, based on the severity of the mental health emergency.
ELEVATE Wellness Center is a residential mental health and dual diagnosis setting that provides the appropriate level of care for someone experiencing a severe mental health challenge. Providing intensive treatment in a safe and nurturing environment allows the individual to stabilize and heal without the presence of daily distractions or triggers.
When Stabilization is Appropriate
Someone with deteriorating mental health, or a co-occurring escalating substance use disorder, may be in need of immediate attention. The risk for suicide is significantly higher under these conditions. Generally, there are some red flags that indicate a loved one is experiencing a worsening state of mental health. These might include:
Disruption in sleep patterns, hypersomnia or insomnia
Change in eating habits
Irrational thoughts and behaviors
Escalating substance abuse
Loss of interest in hobbies or activities usually enjoyed
Extreme mood swings
Angry or violent outbursts
Suicidal thoughts or attempts
When the emergency centers on an acute substance use event, such as alcohol poisoning or other risks of overdose, medical protocols will be necessary. Swift measures are undertaken to reduce the toxins in the body, such as IV hydration and glucose to restore electrolyte balance.
Residential Psychiatric Treatment
In the event of a psychiatric emergency, the individual will be assessed and treated using acute stabilization practices. In some cases, this will mean isolating the individual who might pose a danger to themselves or others until they have achieved stability. During the stabilization process, the clinical team will provide around the clock monitoring and support. Psychotherapy and medication interventions begin immediately after intake.
A thorough psychological evaluation will be conducted once the individual is out of harm’s way. This involves a careful examination of past mental health history, a physical exam, and a review of any co-occurring substance use disorder. This information provides the data that allows the psychiatrist to formally diagnose the condition and design a tailored treatment approach.
Following stabilization, the individual will step down to the residential mental health or dual diagnosis treatment programs. An integrated treatment protocol will involve the following interventions:
Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy provides guidance to help the individual recognize and change irrational thoughts and behavior patterns. For those with trauma-related disorders, prolonged exposure and EMDR can help reduce the impact of the traumatic memories.
Medication: Medication is prescribed to the individual based on the specific diagnosis and any co-occurring disorders. Psychotropic drugs include antidepressants, mood stabilizers, sedatives, and anti-psychotics.
Group therapy: Group sessions involve small gatherings where topics related to mental health challenges are discussed under the direction of a clinician.
Psychosocial interventions: Learning new communication skills, conflict resolution techniques, and anger management skills improve overall social functioning in recovery.
Holistic therapies: Activities such as yoga, mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, acupuncture, and massage therapy are helpful in regulating emotions and promoting relaxation.