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Anyone have experience with mental health partial programs?


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I noticed a lot of people here (read: most I've encountered) live with mental health issues of some sort, and so I thought this might be a good place to ask.

My, uhh, "friend" is considering going into a partial hospitalization program for mental health. It's a five-day-a-week, full-time program with psychoeducational and support groups. People go in for all sorts of reasons, so it's pretty general, but I figure it might be worth a shot.

My questions are:

If you've been to one, how were the staff? Did they treat you like a person, or did you feel more like you were a "client," or somehow less than them?

Was it still helpful, even though the groups are so large and broad in scope?

And most importantly, was it depressing?

My friend is worried that it will be the most depressing experience ever, with people moping around or zombie-walking the rooms in heavily-medicated states. I once visited a friend at a full-time inpatient (ie, where you sleep there) program, and my observations were, uhh, not the best? Some examples of my time there would be, within the first hour, staff had to remove a problem person for standing on the table and shouting; someone tried to bolt out the door and was apprehended by staff to be brought back inside, staff looked stressed-out, over-worked, and disinterested; and most importantly, absolutely nobody I met wanted to be there.

Now, that might be just my (admittedly brief) experience in one program. But I can't say it gives the best impression.

So, for those of you who have experience there, what was it like?

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