Mental Health Centres

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Around one in four people will experience a mental health problem at any one time but for most of these, a visit to their doctor may be all that is required to put them on the road to recovery. Your doctor will be able to assess your physical and mental health history, prescribe medication, and refer you on for more specialist services if required.

Specialist services can include various types of counselling and therapies, help with housing problems, financial difficulties and claiming benefits as well as other challenges you may have that could make your mental health condition worse. These services are usually provided for by a Community Mental Health Team which can be located in a hospital, a doctor’s surgery or in a mental health centre.

There are a number of Mental Health Centres up and down the country and in some cases they offer 24 hour contact so if you have a mental health condition you should keep their number close to hand in case you find yourself in a crisis situation.

Mental Health Centres have the advantage of all the professional services you need being located in one place. This means that it is easier for the mental health team to communicate with each other, to discuss aspects of your treatment and any difficulties you may be having with medication etc. They will also have professionals on hand to help you with other practical problems you may be having in your life.

What professionals might there be at a mental health centre?

Community Mental Health Teams can consist of trained mental health professionals like psychiatrists and psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, counsellors, community psychiatric nurses, and of course receptionists, secretaries and office workers.

A psychiatrist will be able to prescribe medication and devise an appropriate treatment plan in consultation with other professionals at the centre. Psychologists on the other hand cannot prescribe medication but as they have extensive training in the way the mind works and how it can influence behaviour, they may be able to offer you various therapies (talking therapies) and other forms of counselling to help you become well again.

Social workers can offer advice and help you with housing problems, financial difficulties and debt as well as any issues regarding the family. Occupational therapists will be able to assess what you can and cannot do and help find ways of overcoming practical difficulties in the home.

It is likely that you will be assigned a community psychiatric nurse who will make regular contact with you either in the mental health centre or at your home. They will keep the rest of the team up to date on how you are coping with your medication and what other help you may require.

Will I get well again?

Most people with mental health problems do go on to make a full and complete recovery but it all depends on getting the right treatment as early as possible so if you suspect you have a mental health problem it’s important to seek help without delay.

Even for those with severe mental health problems, if the right care and support is given, most will learn to cope with their illness on a day to day basis and be able to lead full and satisfying lives.

Learn how I beat Depression

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