Behavioral Health Services

Bipolar Track

What is Partial Hospitalization?

The Partial Hospitalization program (PHP) offers an alternative to inpatient hospitalization for a wide range of disorders including Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Anxiety and Post-traumatic stress. The comprehensive program provides intensive, five-days-a-week, full-day treatment for patients who do not require 24-hour nursing care. Specialized treatment tracks are designed to deliver care based on individual needs.

What is Bipolar Disorder?

Bipolar Disorder is a disorder that is treatable. It is a biological condition that causes extreme changes in mood and levels of energy. Thinking patterns as well as behavior are also significantly affected. An estimated 2.3 million Americans have Bipolar Disorder with both men and women being affected. Approximately 40 percent of people are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for up to 10 years. If ignored, Bipolar can have serious consequences such as substance abuse, employment challenges, a negative impact on family relationships and can even be life threatening. With proper treatment, Bipolar manageable and individuals can live fulfilling and satisfying lives.

Who will benefit from the Bipolar Track?

The PHP is designed for people who do not require 24-hour care yet need an intense therapy program as a complement to individual treatment. The Bipolar Track benefits patients recently diagnosed with, or ruling out, a Bipolar Diagnosis and patients who are open to medication evaluation/treatment. Best results are seen with the combination of medication compliance and sobriety from drugs/alcohol, including marijuana, other illicit drugs and the overuse of prescribed medication. The Bipolar Track can provide a successful transition between inpatient and outpatient treatment and help stabilize those in crisis through education, structure and medication. Education, behavior modification, CBT and DBT skills are emphasized in this track to help create positive change.

How does the Bipolar Track work within the Partial Hospitalization Program?

Patients receive treatment from a core staff that includes psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists and registered nurses. Patients admitted to the PHP will be eligible to attend the structured three-week Bipolar Track that combines an educational, psychiatric and therapeutic approach to treatment. Two 50-minute groups attended only by patients diagnosed with, or ruling out, Bipolar Disorder are built into their daily group schedule. This group time is focused entirely on Bipolar-specific issues such as medication education, symptom identification, recognizing early warning signs, crisis interventions for the various mood states and relapse prevention. Following the conclusion of the two Bipolar groups, patients reintegrate with the rest of the program.

What are the topics to be covered in the Bipolar Track?

  • The Basics of Bipolar Disorder (diagnosis criteria, symptoms, etiology)
  • Treatment of Bipolar Disorder (medication education, psychotherapy)
  • Family Education (weekly Family Group)
  • Risk Factors
  • Protective Factors/Relapse Prevention
  • Nutrition
  • Life Planning
  • Grief Issues
  • Stress Reduction in Relationships
  • Stress Reduction in Work Situations

How will patients benefit from our partial hospitalization program?

  • The patients have the opportunity to develop new skills to more effectively manage their Bipolar Disorder and to be active in decreasing risk factors that lead to relapse.
  • The Medical Director and staff alternate the facilitation the weekly Bipolar Family Group, open to friends/family which allows for direct contact and monitoring of patients.
  • The patients will have the opportunity to build a community of support.
  • Patient knowledge about the disorder will increase and create the opportunity for greater understanding of emotions and behavior.
  • Family attendance will create an opportunity for enhanced family support.
  • Patients can prepare for return to a higher level of functioning at work in their social lives.
  • Daily contact with RNs and psychotherapists, as well as weekly contact with the attending psychiatrist, allow for close monitoring of new medication regimes, side effects and/or compliance issues.

Opportunity for Family Involvement

Families are encouraged to get involved in the treatment program. Their participation can be vital to the patient's progress and family/friends are welcome to a weekly Bipolar Family Group where they receive information/education directly from staff and often find relief and camaraderie in exchanging feedback, encouragement and support with other patients and their families. Our world renowned Medical Director, Himasiri De Silva, MD, is an expert in Bipolar and facilitates this group every other week. Through attendance and participation, family members can learn about Bipolar Disorder, how it affects the entire family and how they can help.

How are the Partial Hospitalization Program and Bipolar Track paid for?

Most of the hospital and family treatment services provided through the program are covered by Medicare and most private insurance companies. St. Joseph Hospital’s guest account representative will assist you with obtaining information about your insurance coverage.

What are the Program and Bipolar Track hours?

Program hours are 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. In the three-week Bipolar Track, patient attend five days per week. After completing the Bipolar Track, the treating psychiatrist will prescribe the plan for attendance, estimated length of stay and, eventually, the discharge date. Transportation is available to qualifying patients depending on need, location and current van route.

St. Joseph Hospital is here to make a difference. Since 1987, our partial hospitalization program has been helping adults and their families regain a more satisfying lifestyle. If a family member or someone you know could benefit from the program, please contact their physician or call the Partial Hospitalization program at (714) 771-8085.