According to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (OASH), “About half of all people in the United States will be diagnosed with a mental disorder at some point in their lifetime.” Let’s let that sink in for a moment. This is one of those statistics in that you can perform that classic cliched exercise of “look to your left.” Now look to your right. At least one of you will struggle with your mental health at some point in your life – truly staggering.
Taking this into account, there is no doubt that dealing with issues of mental health must become a priority in this country. Treating issues of mental health is not something that should be taken lightly, either. It must be addressed strategically and scientifically. This requires healthcare facilities to be particular about employing evidence-based treatments.
Just as no individual is the same, no individual’s mental health issues are the same either. Thus, no two people should have the exact same recovery plan. A recovery plan should be customized based on an individual’s mental health assessment. Although recovery plans should always be individualized, they should share at least one similarity: a foundation of evidence-based treatments.
The Importance of Evidence-Based Treatments for Mental Health Recovery
It is not uncommon to wonder what constitutes an evidence-based treatment. At this point, we should mention that in no way is this meant to diminish the potential for “non” evidence-based treatments. Many complementary and holistic recovery options can be a great supplement to evidence-based treatment modalities. The key here is supplement.
Evidence-based treatments are treatments that have been scientifically studied and have shown efficacy rates that have garnered approval and acceptance within the medical community. It is important to address that this doesn’t mean that all evidence-based treatments are perfect or that they will work for everyone. Rather, it means that they are believed to be more effective and consistent than other treatments.
Additionally, highlighting the value of evidence-based treatments also doesn’t mean that down the road some of these treatment options will remain the standard. The scientific world of mental health recovery is constantly evolving. In other words, this doesn’t mean that “non” evidence-based treatments will not garner approval down the road. New studies are being conducted every day on treatment modalities. For now, utilizing evidence-based treatments as a primary recovery tool is highly recommended for lasting healing.
A Look at Some Evidence-Based Treatment Options
While there are many evidence-based treatments for mental illness, there are two that stand out: psychotherapy and medication-assisted treatment (MAT).
Psychotherapy approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), have been long shown to have a positive effect on an individual’s mental wellness. However, this does not mean that CBT is 100% effective. In fact, many scientific studies discuss CBT’s limitations alongside its positive attributes. Ultimately, however, the fact is that multiple studies over several years have shown CBT’s efficacy in treating a range of conditions and symptoms. As a result of this, CBT is considered an evidence-based treatment.
MAT, on the other hand, is the use of medication alongside therapy to treat the symptoms of mental illness and substance use disorder (SUD). MAT has been proven to be so effective that certain drugs have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), noting their value in mental health treatment. It takes a lot of scientific reviews to get government approval, so when this happens, it is a boon for a treatment option. The value of medication in treatment must be taken into account when creating a recovery plan.
Not Balking at Other Mental Health Treatment Options
As previously mentioned, utilizing an evidence-based mental health treatment plan does not mean that other recovery options should be shunned. These treatment options can be highly beneficial in bolstering the effectiveness of certain evidence-based treatment modalities.
Some of these recovery options include holistic options like yoga, breathwork, and meditation. These holistic practices may help with the mind-body connection and may also help reduce daily stress and anxiety. Other recovery options may be noted as experiential therapies. These include animal-assisted therapy, art therapy, and adventure therapy. While they may not be able to be quantified, many people stand by the potential of these therapies for a more well-rounded mental health recovery. Maintaining a well-rounded recovery plan can be vital for achieving a successful long-term recovery.
Here at the Phoenix Recovery Center, we do not claim to hold a monopoly over recovery. The truth is that recovery is never guaranteed, and if any recovery center tells you differently we recommend you take their advice with a large grain of salt. However, we do believe in utilizing evidence-based treatments, and we do this because we have seen them work firsthand. Ultimately, when we hear statistics like “half of all people developing a mental illness in their lifetime,” we get concerned. This is why we aim to use the best means at our disposal to combat mental illness. For right now, the best means are evidence-based treatments.
If you feel that you or one of your loved ones may be struggling with issues of mental health, you are not alone. We can help. For more information on evidence-based treatment options, please reach out to The Phoenix Recovery Center today at (801) 438-3185.