Recovery Doesn’t Stop When You Get Home from the Hospital

Recovery Doesn’t Stop When You Get Home from the Hospital

Recovery Doesn’t Stop When You Get Home from the Hospital

Whether you’re being treated for physical or mental health issues, it’s vital to continue your health care after discharge from the hospital. Follow-up care is an important part of getting better.

After Hospitalizations

When you get home after any hospital stay, it’s time to focus on your health. To recover fully, be sure to stay on top of your care:

  • Don’t wait too long to schedule follow-up visits with your doctor.
  • Review your post-discharge care instructions.
  • Watch for signs that could mean you need urgent care (see your post-discharge instructions).
  • Make sure you get any drugs or equipment that have been prescribed for you.
  • Work with your doctor to schedule home health care if needed.
  • Know who to call with questions and concerns.

The Family Caregiver Alliance leaving site icon offers tips for caregivers and patients to ease the shift from hospital to home. Many cities have a wide range of resources, such as support groups for caregivers. Help is available if you need it to get the recommended follow-up care.

After Mental Health or Substance Use Hospitalization

The journey to better mental health doesn’t end with your hospital stay. Health issues like depression, anxiety, and substance use disorder do not go away or get better on their own.

It’s important to continue your recovery. Professional care, including therapy and medication management, and connecting with supportive resources in your community can help.

Continue your care with an outpatient therapist or psychiatrist. This type of follow-up care can:

  • Make you feel better
  • Improve your relationships with friends and family
  • Help you take less time away from work
  • Help you have more energy to do the things you love
  • Lower the chance of another crisis

Schedule mental health or substance use follow-up care within 30 days of discharge from the hospital. That will help you maintain the progress you made in the hospital. Bring your hospital discharge paperwork to your follow-up doctor visit so your doctor has the most up-to-date information on your health.

To find mental health providers and support groups in your area, make use of resources like leaving site icon or SAMHSA’s National Helpline leaving site icon 800-662-HELP (4357). And make sure your family knows they also have options for getting supportleaving site icon

Sources: Taking Good Care of Yourself, leaving site icon Mental Health America;, leaving site icon Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA); SAMHSA’s National Helpline, leaving site icon SAMHSA, 2023; Resources for Families Coping with Mental and Substance Use Disorders, leaving site icon SAMHSA, 2023; Hospital Discharge Planning: A Guide for Families and Caregivers, leaving site icon Family Caregiver Alliance; Hospital Discharge, leaving site icon Johns Hopkins Medicine

Originally published 6/23/2023; Revised 2024