Reasons People Avoid Outpatient Programs

Distressed woman sitting by the window

Reaching out for help isn’t always easy. Although the stigma surrounding mental health services has been improving, many still avoid them. From fears of cost to lack of trust in healthcare providers, there are still many concerns when it comes to mental health support.

Branches Midtown, formerly the Excel Center of Midtown, is here to demistefy these concerns. We have identified some of the most common reasons people avoid mental health outpatient programs – and provided guidance on how to overcome them.

By the end, we hope you feel empowered to take your first steps toward a happier, healthier tomorrow. 

Common Reasons People Avoid Outpatient Programs

The truth is, there are still many gaps in knowledge when it comes to outpatient programs. This lack of information makes it difficult for people to make the first steps in prioritizing their mental health. Common reasons people choose to avoid mental health outpatient programs include:


A common myth about mental health services is that they are always expensive. 

While mental health programs certainly can be expensive, there are ways to receive mental health care in cost-efficient ways. Outpatient programs, for example, are typically less expensive than inpatient programs due to the fact that they do not require patients to reside in a treatment facility (thus saving on room and board). Furthermore, group therapy also tends to be more affordable, since patients share the cost of one therapist. In addition to this, most commercial insurances provide at least some coverage for outpatient services.

Overall, avoiding treatment due to the fear of cost can actually do more harm than good. 

Lack of Information / Misinformation

Unfortunately, there is still a lot of misinformation and general lack of information about outpatient programs and mental health services. This can act as a barriar to those in need of mental health care. Many prople may be unaware of the range of services and treatments provided. Others may assume that all mental health services require hospitalization, but this is far from the truth!

Outpatient programs provide a wide range of mental health services and treatment. Furthermore, they do not require hospitalization, making them a flexible treatment option for those who need to fit their mental health care into their day-to-day life. 

Fear of discomfort

A common fear associated with mental health services is that the experience may be uncomfortable. People likely understand that by seeking treatment, they’ll likely have to process complex emotions, feelings and memories. This fear is understandable. After all, we’d all like to avoid discomfort if possible. 

The truth is, mental health care is not always easy. While this may be uncomfortable to deal with in the moment, dealing with difficult emotions can help you achieve improved mental well-being. In outpatient programs, a mental health professional works with you to not only help you process these emotions, but also teach you healthy coping mechanisms. 

Mistrust in healthcare providers

Whether it be due to past  experiences or negative stories they’ve heard, some people may not trust healthcare professionals enough to seek care. 

This is a difficult barrier to work through, as some people may have very valid reasons for this mistrust. However, if this prevents them from seeking the care they need the consequences can be dire. 

One of the benefits of outpatient programs is that the care patients receive is individualized to their needs and patients are often involved in the process of crafting their treatment plans. This gives them more power and control over their health and future, which may ease their mistrust in healthcare providers. 

Stigmas surrounding mental health care

Unfortunately, stigma remains a prevalent barrier for people seeking mental health care. Mental health stigma can lead to distorted perceptions and stereotypes of what mental health is, leaving those struggling feeling too ashamed or embarassed to seek hlep. Overcoming this stigma, however, is crucial when it comes to taking care of your mental well-being.

It’s important to understand that it’s okay to ask for help and that there is no shame in seeking mental health services. By doing so, you open yourself up to the possibility of a brighter and healthier future. 

Here to Help

Branches Midtown is here to help. We are an outpatient-only behavioral health center located in the Midtown Forth Worth area treating adults and older adults. We provides IOPs, PHPs and a dedicated outpatient program for first responders called the Honor Strong First Responder Program.

Give us a call at 682-235-3132 to get started on your journey to improved mental well-being today.

If you think you’re experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.

If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call 988 or get to the nearest emergency room.