Mental Health Services
Getting assistance with a mental health problem
In the mental health services you may be invited to meet with people in a variety of different settings or teams. Services are organised to be able to provide varying levels of intensity of intervention depending on how severe or complex your condition may be.
Here are some of the teams you may be invited to attend, what do they do and which ones are in your area:
Primary Care Mental Health Teams (PCMHT)
PCMHTs work with people who may be experiencing common mental health problems such as mild to moderate depression, anxiety or phobias. PCMHTs are usually staffed by mental health nurses, mental health practitioners and psychologists, and have strong links with GP surgeries. These teams usually provide psychological therapies, and work with people for up to a few months.
Access into a PCMHT can be through your GP or you could refer yourself.
Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT)
CMHTs (also sometimes named resource centres) work with individuals experiencing mental health problems such as bipolar disorder, depression, severe anxiety or psychosis. CMHTs are staffed by mental health nurses, occupational therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists. These teams provide a variety of interventions, care and treatments, and can work with you as required to meet your needs.
Access into a CMHT comes by referral from your GP or Social Services.
Older Adult Mental Health Teams (OAMHT)
OAMHTs work with people who experience a range of mental health problems that are, by and large, associated with the later years in life such as dementia or depression that results from experiencing other problems such as loss (although in reality these problems can affect people throughout their lifespan). OAMHTs are largely staffed by mental health nurses, dementia care co-ordinators, psychiatrists, psychologists and occupational therapists.
Access to an OAMHT is by referral from your GP or a psychiatrist.
Alcohol and Drugs Recovery Services
Alcohol and Drug Recovery Services work with people who are experiencing problems related to their alcohol and/or drug use. These specialist services aim to help people reduce the harm of their experiences and to control their alcohol and/or drug use, and they also understand the kind of difficulties that often go hand in hand with an alcohol or drug problem. They offer a range of health and social care services including practical support, advice and care and treatment. The services you will be offered will be tailored to your particular needs and goals and may include: information and harm reduction advice; detoxification programmes and medication to assist with alcohol or drug dependency; mental health assessment and intervention; physical health assessment; psychological therapies; recovery-focused services; and access, where appropriate, to residential services. Staff working in the Alcohol and Drug Recovery Services includes nurses, social care workers, doctors, psychologists and occupational therapists.
You can access Alcohol and Drug Recovery Services by referring yourself directly or by being referred by your GP.
There are a range of services that provide care for specialised presentations, these include psychotherapy, forensic services, trauma services, child & adolescent mental health services, and eating disorders service. Most of these services require a specialist assessment before a referral can take place.
For some people, admission to hospital will aid their recovery. In this case, hospital staff will work closely with you, your family and community services to ensure that your stay in hospital is as beneficial and as short as possible. The majority of people will not need hospital admission.
In the mental health services you may meet with a variety of people from a range of professions who all work together to provide the best quality of care to you or someone you care for or care about.
Here are some of the people you might meet, and what they do:
Mental Health Nurse
Mental health nurses are there to get to know you and understand your needs. Their role is to offer you advice and support. They will work closely with you, your carers and other members of the team to plan your care. Their training covers the whole range of mental health issues across all ages. They can help you to set goals and plan for the future, assist you to manage your medication or provide brief psychological interventions.
The mental health nurses in the community is often referred to as a Community Psychiatric Nurse or more commonly as a CPN
A psychiatrist is a doctor who specialises in mental health. A consultant is the most senior psychiatrist. In order to assess your mental health, they will ask you about your background and previous treatment, as well as your current situation. They will discuss the results of your assessment and diagnosis with you. They will discuss with you what tests or treatments you might need, and can prescribe medication if required. They may also want to meet with you again to review the effects of any treatments.
Psychologists are trained to understand how people think, feel and behave. They have knowledge and experience of a range of psychological therapies. The role of the psychologist is to help you to improve your mental health, wellbeing and quality of life. If you are referred to a psychologist, they will talk with you about your feelings, thoughts and behaviour. They will help you to understand the problems you are experiencing, and work with you to identify ways you can deal with these problems. A psychologist does not prescribe medication.
Occupational therapist (OT)
An occupational therapist will help you to overcome physical and psychological barriers, enabling you to carry out daily activities and tasks that maintain health and wellbeing. This might include preparing meals, visiting the shops, or continuing with a favourite leisure activity. An OT can assist you with learning new skills to help you to get the most from life.
A social worker will find out what your welfare needs are and tell you how they can help. They can give you and your family the information and support that you may need to deal with a range of issues such as housing, benefits, education, child care and respite care. They can also assist with assessing a variety of social, accommodation and financial needs.
A Day In The Life Of A Social Worker
In the mental health services you may be offered a range of interventions to meet your particular needs and circumstance.
Here are some of the interventions and treatment approaches you might be offered:
A structured approach that encourages you to take part in activities you feel are positive rather than withdrawal and inactivity. It aims to increase how constructive you feel in your life and also how much pleasure you experience as a result of activity.. Behaviour is learned and behavioural activation therefore aims to change the way you feel by changing what you do.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a treatment that focuses on our emotions, thoughts and behaviours. How we think and behave has an effect on their emotions and vice versa and so changing ways of thinking and behaving will help you to change how you are feeling. Your therapist will work with you to identify and alter your negative thoughts, assumptions and beliefs so that you are able to have a more balanced perspective on yourself, others and your life. As a result your difficulties will be significantly improved.
Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
IPT is a therapy that works by discussing difficulties you are having in the light of key relationships in your life. It is especially effective for those suffering from depression where the trigger may be in the interpersonal world and can include transitions; significant losses and interpersonal conflict. The IPT therapist will help you discover key elements of your relationships that may benefit from some changes and in turn you will see an improvement in your mood and general well-being.
Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT)
Mindfulness has been defined as paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally (in contrast to being absorbed in ruminating on the past or future). It helps us learn how to bring awareness to our thoughts, emotions, physical sensations and behaviours; encouraging us to recognise and respond to early signs of difficulties. It has been shown to be particularly helpful for those who have suffered from depression in the past. MBCT is often taught in a group course format.
Motivational Interviewing (MI)
Motivational Interviewing is a style of interaction based upon psychological principles that aim to help you to change particular behaviours that will help your health, such as stopping drinking or improving your way of managing how you deal with a chronic health problem e.g. asthma or diabetes. Your therapist will work with you to explore various motivational aspects of current and potential future behaviours and actions.
These approaches involve helping you learn about your difficulties and some straightforward steps you can take to improve things for yourself. Psycho-education is delivered to an individual or in a group approach like a ‘training course’. It is also available as a self-help resource online. The courses and resources may provide all the help you need or may be the first part of a broader treatment programme.
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Primary Care Mental Health Team (PCMHT)
PCMHTs work with people who may be experiencing common mental health problems such as moderate to severe depression, anxiety or phobias. PCMHTs are usually staffed by mental health nurses, mental health practitioners and psychologists, and have strong links with GP surgeries. These teams usually provide psychological therapies, and work with people for up to a few months.
Access into a PCMHT can be through your GP or you could refer yourself
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Community Mental Health Team (CMHT)
CMHTs work with individuals experiencing significant mental health problems such as bipolar disorder, depression, severe anxiety or psychosis. CMHTs are staffed by mental health nurses, occupational therapists, psychiatrists and psychologists. These teams provide a variety of interventions, care and treatments, and can work with you as required to meet your needs
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT)
A range of health and social care staff who work together in providing the necessary care and treatment. This can be either in the community or in hospital. It can include nurses, psychologists, doctors, occupational therapists, dieticians, physiotherapists and social workers
Please note that this video is from a range of BSL videos published by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Psychiatrist
Consultant psychiatrists have the overall responsibility for diagnosing a mental health condition and prescribing treatment. Psychiatrists are qualified medical doctors who specialise in mental health conditions
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Social Worker
A professional who can help to assist with practical aspects of life and may have had training in providing psychological assistance. Social workers work collaboratively with various organisations, such as local authorities and the NHS, who provide support
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN)
Registered nurses who are trained in mental health and can give long-term support to those living in the community.
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Counsellor/Psychotherapist
Counselors or Psychotherapists work with individuals, couples, families and groups to help them overcome a range of psychological and emotional issues. They use personal treatment plans and a variety of non-medical treatments to address the client's thought processes, feelings and behavior, understand inner conflicts and find new ways to alleviate and deal with distress.
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Occupational Therapist
Occupational Therapists help people of all ages who have physical, psychological or social problems. This could be help with shopping, brushing their teeth, or helping to assist with a person’s child care, professional development or attending social activities
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Keyworker
A ward nurse who is responsible for implementing the care plan and often develops reports regarding your progress.
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - General Practitioner
GPs are family doctors who provide general health services to a local community. They are usually based in a GP surgery or practice and are often the first place people go with a health concern
Please note that this video is from a range of BSL videos published by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Art Therapy
A form of psychotherapy that uses art media as its primary mode of communication
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Assessment
When someone is unwell, health care professionals meet with the person to talk to them and find out more about their symptoms so they can make a diagnosis and plan treatments. This is called an assessment. Family members should be involved in assessments, unless the person who is unwell says he or she does not want that.
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Care Plan
Mental health professionals draw up a care plan with someone when they first start offering them support, after they have assessed what someone’s needs are and what is the best package of help they can offer. People should be given a copy of their care plan and it should be reviewed regularly. Service users, and their families and carers, can be involved in the discussion of what the right care plan is
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Care Programme Approach (CPA)
A way of co-ordinating the care and treatment that a person with significant mental health problems receives from various health and social care services. This is used in specific circumstances for a small number of individuals with complex needs when there are several agencies involved in their care.
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
Is a type of psychological or talking therapy. It can be a treatment for different mental health problems. It is usually structured and time-limited. It aims to help you understand how your problems began and what keeps them going. CBT works by helping you to link the way that you think (your thoughts, beliefs and assumptions), with how you feel (your emotions) and what you do (your behaviour). CBT has been shown to help with many different types of problems. These include: anxiety, depression, panic, phobias, stress, bulimia, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and psychosis. CBT may also help if you have difficulties with anger, a low opinion of yourself or physical health problems, like pain or fatigue.
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Counselling
Counselling is a type of talking therapy that involves a trained therapist listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Group Therapy
Group therapy is a form of talking therapy where a group of individuals meet regularly with a therapist to help each other to discuss their individual struggles and ways to tackle them
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Inpatient
Most people with mental health problems receive the care and treatment they need while living in the community. But sometimes when a person is very unwell or is potentially at risk to themselves or to others, they may need treatment in hospital for a period of time
NHSGG&C BSL A-Z: Mental Health - Wellness or Recovery Plan
A mental health recovery plan is a way to be actively involved in recovering from mental health problems and take control of your mental health, so you can work toward achieving treatment and recovery goals. It helps you look at ways of staying well and make best use of your supports
Please note that this video is from a range of BSL videos published by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde