Seeing a provider after a patient leaves the hospital is very important.

Studies show up to 40 percent of patients hospitalized for mental health care need to go back to the hospital within a year. Patients who see a provider within seven days of leaving the hospital are far less likely to go back.

If a patient started taking medication in the hospital, it may take days or weeks to get the full effect. It's important the patient stays on the medication and works with an outpatient provider to ensure his/her symptoms are fully controlled.

Many patients with mental health conditions will stop taking their medication as soon as they feel better. Stopping medication too soon can make it harder to control symptoms in the future. Continuing with treatment as recommended can help patients maintain their health and well-being.