How to Develop a Mental Health Program

According to USA Today, over 50 million Americans struggle with a mental health disorder. A significant portion of those who are affected don’t get the treatment they need. In fact, most people don’t get any treatment at all. Given the pervasiveness of mental health issues across every demographic, there is a significant need for increased access to mental health programs. If you are trying to develop a mental health program to meet these needs, where do you start? Keep reading to learn how to develop a mental health program.

How to Develop a Mental Health Program

When looking into how to develop a mental health program, it’s crucial to keep the following aspects in mind.


If you are going to develop a mental health program, you need to determine what type of conditions you want to treat. Depression and anxiety may be the most common mental health disorders affecting adults across America, but that could also mean that in your area, there are far too many competing programs for these conditions, and your institution might be better off creating a mental health program for conditions such as PTSD or personality disorders.

Treatment Options

Once you have the conditions you want to treat, you’ll also have to consider what treatment options you want to provide. If, for example, you plan to offer treatment in your area for PTSD, are you going to employ qualified professionals to offer EMDR treatment? Other questions may include:

  • Will your program center on a combination of individual and group therapy, or will it only provide group sessions?
  • Are you going to offer inpatient resources, or will treatment be exclusively outpatient? If inpatient, how will you figure out housing?
  • If you aren’t providing housing, will you connect with stable housing resources in the area so you can direct clients to them if they need them?

These are all important elements to keep in mind while developing your mental health program.


In addition to the levels of care and the types of therapy you plan to offer, you’ll have to consider whether or not holistic care will play a part in your program, and what types of amenities you want your treatment center to offer.

If, for example, there is a competing facility within 60 miles that specializes in equine therapy for PTSD and depression, you might consider offering wilderness therapy or adventure therapy as a competitive alternative.

You’ll also want to consider whether you’ll have indoor or outdoor spaces for recreation. If you plan to start your mental health program on the East Coast, most of the year, you may face weather limitations to outdoor recreation, so you’ll want to consider having indoor amenities. 


You’ll also need to consider the staffing. Finding the right staff can be a challenge if you don’t know what qualifications to look for. You’ll need staff who can handle administrative tasks as well as staff who are qualified to provide the treatment options and therapies you plan to offer. Finding someone to lead meditation and yoga services can present different challenges from finding a qualified, licensed therapist or psychiatrist for individual treatment.


Finally, you will want to consider what resources you plan to offer to your clients after they leave treatment. If you have clients who struggle with personality disorders or bipolar disorder, the resources you might connect them with could include educational resources or stable housing resources, as well as access to ongoing medication management plans.

Do you plan to offer an alumni program where clients can seek continual support, or will you partner with local organizations to facilitate access to community groups that they can join afterward? These and countless other questions are things you need to ask yourself when you develop a mental health program. 

Develop a Mental Health Plan with C4 Consulting

With the right type of guidance, you can develop a mental health program that fits the needs of your area. Are your demographics struggling primarily with depression? Is there a demand for holistic care where you live? All of these questions go a long way toward determining what programs you should offer, what type of treatment is best, and how you can meet the needs of your demographic.

C4 Consulting is a behavioral health consulting firm that can help you transform your business by developing the right mental health plan for your business needs. Our clinical program development consulting and staffing consulting services can provide the right guidance as you create plans for your programming, staffing, and finances. 

Our team will help you achieve the outcome you want for your business by helping you develop a mental health program today. Contact our team to learn more about how we can best support your business goals.

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