Behind the Scenes in a Mental Health Treatment Center

August 5, 2013

Mental health treatment gets a bad rap in the media. According to some movies, a treatment facility is all about padded walls and straitjackets, electroshock therapy and ‘crazy’ people. These beliefs are outdated myths, and do not reflect reality.

Let’s fix those misconceptions.

First of all, a mental health treatment center is a place of healing and stability staffed with compassionate, trained mental health professionals. It’s a place you can go to get better; not to be hidden away from society. Perhaps most importantly, the people in a mental health treatment facility are not ‘crazy;’ they are people who are simply seeking recovery. Today we’ll take a deeper look into what it’s like behind the scenes in a mental health treatment center.

Inside a Mental Health Treatment Center

2013_08_21_FBPM_GuardianMental health facilities are designed to help you recover from mental illness while learning how to manage the symptoms. Ultimately, the idea is to transfer the skills you learn in the facility and apply them in the real world. That’s why a mental health treatment center is very much a real-world setting. Modern facilities are bright, cheerful, and comfortable places where you can get the care and attention you need.

Treatment Facilities

No doubt about it, mental health treatment can be emotionally difficult. It helps to be in a serene environment when you’re going through therapy, and that’s what many treatment facilities strive to provide. A mental health treatment center should make you feel at home. It should not be drastically different from the outside world, although many of the distractions will be removed, allowing you to focus on getting better. There will likely be separate places for different kinds of treatment, from group therapy to one-on-one counseling.

Living Quarters

If you choose a residential-style treatment program, you will be living at the facility. Many treatment centers offer communal living quarters, set up like an apartment complex. You may or may not have a roommate, but you will likely live close to others, allowing you to work on developing social relationships during therapy. Treatment centers are a safe place where you can test the waters of social interaction. Helpful staff should be on hand round-the-clock to assist you with any needs.


Part of recovery is getting plenty of rest and relaxation, and that often means incorporating leisure activities into your day. Your mental health treatment center may have a number of amenities, including a pool, gym, tennis court, television, and a garden. You may have access to classes like yoga, tai chi, or arts and crafts. Group and individual activities are available so you can explore your personal interests.

If you or someone you love is suffering from a mental illness and is facing financial obstacles to services, please call us at 1-800-338-5770. At Guardian Behavioral Health Foundation we provide access to low-cost or no-cost mental health services through a variety of community mental health centers and professionals.  We also offer educational workshops for families and professionals.