Bridges Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)

Support, knowledge, and skills for overcoming obstacles on your mental wellness journey.


As an intensive outpatient program (IOP), Bridges is a middle option between traditional individual therapy and inpatient treatment. The program serves adults whose mental health symptoms create serious challenges in their day-to-day life, although their symptoms are stable enough that the structure or supervision of inpatient or hospital treatment is not necessary. Bridges’ outpatient format allows clients the opportunity to maintain responsibilities to job, family, or other life commitments as they develop knowledge and skills for pursuing their mental wellness goals.


Bridges is founded on the Illness Management & Recovery curriculum, offering evidence-based, client-centered therapy using cognitive behavioral, motivational interviewing, and psychoeducational strategies to help clients identify and make progress towards their own mental wellness goals. Group members learn about mental health disorders, how to advocate for themselves, strategies for living a healthier and more fulfilling life, coping skills for stress and symptom-related challenges, strategies for building and maintaining relationships, using medication effectively, managing substance use, and getting your needs met by the mental health system.

Program Objectives

Group members in Bridges:

  • Make progress toward their vision of recovery, including self-set goals
  • Learn about mental health disorders and strategies for treatment
  • Decrease the impact of mental health symptoms
  • Build skills to reduce the chance of symptom relapses and rehospitalization

Program Schedule

  • 10 – 13 weeks total; open group so new group members can join at any time
  • Groups run from 9 AM to noon on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays
    • Attend 3 times per week for the first 6 – 10 weeks,
    • Then, as the client’s skills strengthen and they need less support, step-down to 2 times per week for the remaining time in the program

Program Structure

  • Group sessions include:
    • Group members discuss their goals, problems, important events, and homework
    • Interactive education focusing on the IMR curriculum
  • Psychiatry appointments at the beginning and end of the program 
  • Onsite and mail order pharmacy available to help coordinate medications
  • Care management services available based on need
  • Connection to other services at Natalis, as needed, including mental health testing and assessments, individual therapy, group therapy, ARMHS, DBT group therapy, trauma/PTSD therapy, EMDR, alcohol and drug abuse counseling, family therapy, relationship therapy, sexual health and gender therapy
  • Referrals to services outside of Natalis as needed or requested

Program Location

Bridges is offered at Natalis’ University Avenue location at 1600 University Avenue W #12, St. Paul, MN 55104.*
*The group is currently available through telehealth only due to covid-related social distancing restrictions. A return to in-person groups is anticipated this summer.

Location highlights:

  • On the corner of University and Snelling in the Spruce Tree building
  • Building is handicap accessible
  • On the light rail route (Green Line)
  • On public bus routes
  • A parking ramp is adjacent to the building at 1611 Spruce Tree Drive, St. Paul, MN 55104
  • Parking in the ramp is free for IOP clients (Bring us your parking ticket from the ramp to validate.)

Insurances Accepted
Most insurances are accepted, although we are not able to accept Medicare at this time.

Is sobriety required in Bridges?
Bridges approaches substance abuse from a harm reduction stance. Group members are not required to be free of substance use to be in the program. This being said, the fact is that substance abuse and mental health disorders frequently co-occur and make each other worse. Therefore, Bridges strongly encourages sobriety as a personal goal, and also recognizes that not everyone starts out at the same place on the road to a healthier lifestyle. The program works to build motivation for sobriety and provides support for people at any stage of change.

How do I know if Bridges is right for me?
Bridges is a good option to consider if any of the following are true for you.

  • Your mental health symptoms make it difficult for you to do one or more of the following:
    • Find a job, stay at your job, or stay in school
    • Have good relationships with others
    • Make pro-social choices
    • Normal activities of daily living (examples: managing bills, appointments, or medications; getting enough sleep; practicing hygiene for self and living environment)
  • Your mental health symptoms have caused a crisis in your life and you would like support as you begin to move forward again.
  • You will be transitioning back into the community from a higher level of mental health care (e.g., hospitalization, partial hospitalization program, residential treatment program)


Bridges IOP coordinator: 651-379-5157 or
Bridges IOP facilitator: 651-379-3977 or

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