By: Ava
October 28, 2021

What Is PHP in Mental Health?

Table of Contents

What if there was something in between inpatient and outpatient care? Where you could get the more intensive care you need but still have the ability to carry on with aspects of your daily life. Where you had the time to really focus on getting that space in between your ears – your mind – right?

That’s where something like PHP comes in.

But what is PHP in mental health and treatment for addiction?

What Is PHP?

Let’s get started by explaining the acronym.

PHP = partial hospitalization program

With that out of the way, we can dive a little deeper with the help of some of Congress and some additional topic experts.

As noted by the National Library of Medicine, PHP, as defined by Congress meant “an outpatient program specifically designed for the diagnosis or active treatment of a serious mental disorder when there is a reasonable expectation for improvement or when it is necessary to maintain a patient’s functional level and prevent relapse or full hospitalization.”

That definition was endorsed by heavy-hitters like the National Association of Private Psychiatric Hospitals and the American Association for Partial Hospitalization (AAPH).

PHP can also be thought of as a transition step between inpatient and outpatient care.

But it’s important to add that partial hospitalization programs are not a replacement for an inpatient program. If you need inpatient care, you should get inpatient care.

Benefits of PHP for Mental Health

So, the question now becomes what exactly is the benefit of PHP as it pertains to your mental health?

As you know, or are finding out now, addiction is a brain disorder and so working on mental health is imperative in any recovery program. Putting it a different way, recovery doesn’t end after detox. Detox is just about breaking your body’s physical addiction and helping you through the withdrawal symptoms that come with it.

Longer access to addiction specialists

Given that it’s called partial hospitalization, you can expect to spend a longer time in your recovery program per day. While it varies from place to place, you can expect to spend several hours a day, multiple days a week at the facility. That translates to more access to the addiction specialists that will guide and support you.

More group and individual work

With more time at the treatment center comes more group and individual therapy – the backbone of most rehabs. Your mental health won’t improve solely because you’ve quit drugs or alcohol or simply because you want it to. It takes active effort and dedicated work. Through individual sessions with a therapist or counselor as well as robust group sessions you’ll slowly start to change your thought process and cement new habits. PHP allows you to get the most out of those sessions.

Comprehensive care

Again, owing to the hours you’ll be spending, your care is naturally going to be more comprehensive and holistic in nature.


While we’ve been harping on the amount of time you’ll be spending in a partial hospitalization program, the truth is, it still has flexibility built into it. When putting together the ins and outs of your program, you’ll be able to shape it around what you need to get done in your own life.


Lastly, while not a replacement for inpatient care as we mentioned, if you’re presented with the option for one or the other, PHP won’t set you back as much because you won’t have to cover costs associated with living in.

How Multi Concept Recovery Can Help You With Your Mental Health Today

At Multi Concept Recovery, we can help you get your mental health back on track because ultimately that’s at the core of what we’re about and our partial hospitalization program is designed with that in mind. To learn more about our evidence-based approach and the finer points of PHP, just give us a call.