A guide to understanding mental health levels of care

Posted on 04/09/24 05:56:pm

A guide to understanding mental health levels of care


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Understanding the different terms used to describe mental health treatment can be a little confusing at times. Not sure how inpatient is different from residential or which level of care at Rogers is right for you? See our explanations below for each type of treatment.


Inpatient is our highest level of care, which provides mental and physical stabilization during an acute episode. Inpatient care is for people who are in emergency situations and intend to harm themselves, need to regain nutrients or achieve a healthy intake of food, or who need to withdraw from drugs or alcohol. Our multidisciplinary team creates a care plan for each patient to help stabilize symptoms and get through the crisis and a plan for continued treatment.

A typical length of stay in inpatient varies, but the average is three to seven days with a longer stay often required for those with an eating disorder, depending on severity. Once stable, our care team works to transition patients to the appropriate level of care for the next step in their treatment.


In residential care at Rogers, patients live on campus in our supportive environment while receiving intensive treatment for an average of 30 to 90 days. Patients in residential care are medically stable and focus on building the skills needed for long-term recovery. Residential care at Rogers can be found in Oconomowoc and West Allis, both in the Milwaukee area in Wisconsin.

Partial hospitalization

Patients in our partial hospitalization care (PHP) come in for treatment five days a week typically for six hours each day. This level of care is sometimes referred to as “day treatment.” Patients will often step down from inpatient or residential to partial hospitalization, which is shown to have the best short-term and long-term clinical outcomes with reduced readmission at a future date. PHP is currently also offered virtually through Rogers Connect Care. Learn more here.

Intensive outpatient

Rogers’ intensive outpatient care (IOP) is our lowest level of care where patients come in for treatment five days a week for three hours each day. Patients at this level of care still experience group and individual therapy, meet with psychiatrists, participate in experiential therapy, and other treatment modalities. Virtual treatment is also available for IOP.

Outpatient services

Traditional outpatient care where someone meets with a therapist or psychiatrist once or twice a week. As symptoms improve, patients will reduce the frequency of appointments until it’s safe to discontinue or only come in occasionally. Patients who leave our care return to their outpatient providers or we can make a referral when needed. Likewise, if an outpatient provider is treating someone who requires a higher level of care, they will refer to Rogers.

If you are still unsure what type of treatment may be right for you, call 800-767-4411 to request a free, confidential screening. You can also request a screening 24/7 online at https://rogersbh.org/screening-request.

Call 800-767-4411 or go to rogersbh.org to request a free screening.