How to Choose a Treatment Centre

by Nirmala Raniga

When you or a loved one is struggling with addictive behaviours or other mental health concerns, finding the help you need can be an overwhelming process. With such a wide range of treatment facilities available, how does one determine if a centre will effectively meet the needs of the client? In order to find quality treatment for healthy sustainable changes, we offer the following suggestions.

  1. 1. Investigate: All too often, a crisis or life-threatening event tends to be what prompts a person and their family to finally seek treatment. It is important to recognize that such situations may lead to hasty decision making. When looking for a treatment centre, be aware of this vulnerability. Make sure to take the time to ask questions and properly investigate a treatment facility in order to make an informed choice. It is valuable to invest some time to clearly reflect on the short term and long term purpose of treatment along with a list of concerns.
  2. 2. Commit to Treatment: There is no “quick fix” when it comes to the treatment of addiction and mental health concerns. A good treatment facility can be the key to successful, positive change, but recovery is also largely the responsibility of the individual and takes a personal, ongoing commitment. If an individual is not progressing in treatment, it is unlikely that merely staying at a treatment center will be of benefit. What a particular treatment center offers may not be the best fit for your particular needs.
    There are many roads to wellness, and if a person is truly committed to achieving recovery, the right solutions can be found. A quality treatment centre also recognizes that continuing care after completing residential services is crucial, and provides support and resources to assist an individual once they return to daily life.
  3. 3. Look for Licensed Service Providers: In order to determine if a treatment centre is able to deliver the quality care they advertise, make sure the therapists and clinical staff are licensed practitioners. Look into the credentials, educational background and experience of the clinical or medical director. Find out the staff to patient ratio. Who are the healthcare professionals on staff, and how often do they see clients? Qualifications of the staff should be well rounded in differing areas of expertise from nutrition, to physical health, to counselling and therapy.
  4. 4. Assess Individual Concerns: Every person has unique biological, physiological, psychological and sociological factors that contribute to their addiction or mental health concerns. All of these areas should be evaluated and taken into account when choosing a treatment centre. For instance, if your loved one suffers from alcoholism but has also dealt with an eating disorder in the past, it would be good to look for a treatment facility that has expertise in both areas. Quality treatment facilities take individual factors into consideration and provide assistance to regain health on all fronts.
  5. 5. Evaluate Cost with Specific Needs in Mind: It is valuable to check thoroughly with several different facilities based on your budget, the price point, and the quality of programming. Centres vary in price and certainly more expensive does not mean more effective. Cost can sometimes prevent people from seeking treatment, but finding the right care that works is possible if you consider specific needs and plan for ongoing support.
    Become clear about what success looks like for you and how the treatment options you are considering may contribute to that success. Use this to help inform your decision about whether the investment is the best one for you. For example, if quitting smoking is a part of your long term vision of health and success, going to a non-smoking centre may be important. If having healthy loving relationships free from the intrusion of childhood trauma feels critical for your wellbeing, then a centre that effectively works with psychological trauma should be a priority.

Overall, quality treatment care can be found when approached from the perspective of restoring physical and psychological health, offering hope, and providing practical tools, medical expertise and support to assist a person in their ability and commitment to live a healthy, happy balanced life.