Day Treatment

Day Treatment Program for Adults 18+

The Skyland Trail mental health day treatment program for adults in Atlanta, also known as the partial hospitalization program (PHP), is offered as a step-down from residential treatment. Adult clients transitioning from residential care also may be eligible to enroll in our transitional living program.

At this time, direct admissions to adult day treatment are very limited, and clients must currently reside in Metro Atlanta. Please call our admissions team to discuss the level of care that may best meet your clinical needs.

adults participating in mental health therapy group as part of residential or day treatment

Admitting Directly to Adult Day Treatment

Our psychiatric day treatment program often is recommended when:

  • traditional outpatient care is not successful
  • clients are likely to adhere to medications and fully participate in treatment
  • clients have a lower risk of impulsive suicide attempts

Day Treatment, or partial hospitalization (PHP), is not appropriate for someone leaving a locked inpatient facility or hospital, or for individuals experiencing psychosis or frequent thoughts of suicide.

Adults struggling with depression or anxiety who are feeling "stuck" in outpatient therapy may benefit from our intensive cognitive behavioral therapy program. CBT day treatment provides an immersive CBT experience in a therapeutic environment with individualized CBT-focused psychiatric care.

During the admissions process, our clinical team will recommend an appropriate level of entry for a new client.

three people talking in the South common room

Day Treatment as a Step Down from Residential Treatment

Clients who admit to our residential treatment program typically spend about two months at the residential level of care before stepping down to day treatment. Each client moves at their own pace, and changes in level of care are determined by the treatment team, which is led by the psychiatrist.

When a client transitions to PHP, usually their primary counselor, psychiatrist and peer group stay the same. However, clients are expected to use skills more independently and manage their own medications. Some day treatment activities overlap with residential treatment program activities, while others are designed to help day treatment clients use and practice their skills to prepare for returning to the community.

Transitional housing may be available for clients stepping down to day treatment. Note that clients in our dual diagnosis recovery community are not eligible for transitional housing and likely will be referred to a recovery residence in the community to provide additional support as they complete the day treatment program.

two people sitting and talking outside

Day Treatment with a Structured Daily Schedule

Day Treatment clients come to the Charles B. West Campus from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each weekday for psychiatric services and therapy sessions. While multiple groups are offered each hour, counselors work with each mental health day treatment client to develop an individualized schedule based on the client's diagnoses, as well as identified opportunities for growth and skill building.

A structured daily schedule consisting of one-on-one counseling, evidence-based group therapy and a variety of hands-on expressive activities helps adults experiencing depression, bipolar illness, or anxiety return to a healthy daily routine that incorporates self-care, social interaction, and purposeful activities.

What does a treatment day look like?

See an example day treatment schedule.

Expected Length of Stay

On average, clients participate in the day treatment program for about 2 months. (Our minimum length of stay is 8 weeks.) Most clients step down to our Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), which offers a slightly shorter day, five days a week, from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM. The average length of stay in IOP is an additional 1 to 2 months. The total average length of treatment for clients admitting to day treatment is 2 to 6 months.

two people looking at results of psychological testing

Work & School

The Skyland Trail day treatment program for adults and young adults essentially is a full-time program; day treatment clients will need to suspend their commitments to a job or school for at least 8 weeks.

Individualized Care Throughout Day Treatment

Each client has a one-on-one session with a psychiatrist and an individual session with his or her primary counselor at least once each week when participating in the mental health day treatment program. Our psychiatrists work with clients to develop an effective medication regime that helps them feel better mentally and physically.

Primary counselors combine compassion with proven psychotherapy techniques to help clients talk about their thoughts and feelings. Our counselors help clients examine long-held, unhealthy beliefs and construct new skills for coping with daily stress. With the client's permission, primary counselors also keep families informed of client progress.

Clients attend a core group session daily with a consistent group of 10-15 peer clients.  Clients also participate in classroom-style educational sessions to learn more about their illness and how they can apply coping strategies and skills that are proven to be effective.

two people talking in talk therapy session

What does our campus look like?

Take a 360 virtual tour of the Charles B. West Campus.

We take an integrated, holistic approach to our mental health day program

Complementary adjunctive therapy sessions – art, music, horticulture, and recreation – encourage client engagement in therapy and give clients opportunities to practice the skills they are learning in their individual and core group sessions.

Weekly schedules also include groups focused on workforce and school readiness, work-life balance, nutrition counseling, sober living, mindfulness, healthy relationships, exercise and sports, and positive use of free time.

Our integrated, holistic model is what makes Skyland Trail unique, successful and nationally recognized. All the components of our programs - from expert psychiatric care to art and gardens to fitness training -  work together to help our clients reclaim their lives.

By helping them define who they are and who they want to be in addition to helping them develop practical skills for managing their mental illness, we give our clients the best chance at stopping the cycle of repeat hospitalizations and moving forward toward a healthier future.