Mental Health Professionals You Might Meet In The CMHT?

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The first point of contact for anyone who suspects they may be suffering from a mental health problem is their own doctor. For many people with mental health problems such as anxiety or mild depression, it may be that their own doctor is the only person they will need to see as he or she will be able to offer advice and medication.

However, if necessary a doctor will also be able to refer an individual on to other professionals who specialise in mental health, such as the community mental health team, so who might you encounter there?

The Community Mental Health Team

The community mental health team are a group of individuals who work together, which can be from a doctor’s surgery, a hospital or even from their own premises. Collectively, they will be able to diagnose your particular condition, offer you the best advice and support as well as the most appropriate treatment.

The following is a list of the professionals most likely to be part of a community mental health team and a brief description of their roles:

Psychiatrists – will be able to carry out diagnostic tests, offer a diagnosis and prescribe medication

Psychologists – psychologists are often trained to specialise in different areas of psychology, they will not be able to prescribe medication but will be able to offer various kinds of psychological therapies.

Community Psychiatric Nurses or CPNs – These nurses may make home visits or can be seen at the clinic. They have multiple roles and again will often specialise in different areas but in general they will be able to offer advice and support with practical problems, will liaise with other professionals about your progress or any difficulties you may be having with medication etc.

Social Workers – social workers can provide assistance with applications for things like benefits and housing. They can advise and support you on practical challenges as well as offer advice and assistance with personal problems at home such as family or relationship or childcare issues.

Occupational Therapists – again they have multiple roles but in general will be able to assess your physical needs on a practical level and can help you to become more independent in your daily routines.

Key Worker – if you are referred to a community mental health team then you will be assigned a key worker who can be any member of the team but often a community psychiatric nurse. They will familiarise themselves with your particular case and will be there as an informal ear to talk to about any worries you may have.

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