Who Are The Community Mental Health Team?

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If you have been diagnosed with a mental illness then there is the possibility that your doctor will refer you to a Community Mental Health Team (CMHT). The Community Mental Health Team is a group of professional individuals who are specialists in their line of work.

Together they are able to offer you the kind of treatment, advice and support you need to help you cope with difficulties you may be having and to give you the best chance of recovery.

So what kind of professionals might make up a CMHT and what can they do for you?


Psychiatrists have a degree in medicine and are fully qualified doctors with further training in mental illness. They are able to prescribe you any medication you might need and make decisions regarding what sort of treatment is appropriate in your case.


Psychologists have a degree in psychology and extensive training before they become qualified psychologists. They are not doctors so cannot prescribe medication but they have an excellent understanding of mind and behaviour and can therefore recommend and offer psychotherapy which can include cognitive and behavioural psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, or any other therapies.

Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPNs)

A CPN will make home visits to you at regular intervals in order to make sure you are coping with life in general and can help you with any practical problems or difficulties you may have including any issues about your medication. Different CPNs may have specialised training in specific areas of mental health so are able to offer you advice and liaise with other members of the CMHT about your treatment and progress.

Social Workers

Social Workers are qualified professionals who are able to help you with practical issues such as finances and benefits, housing, family and relationship problems etc.

Occupational Therapists (OTs)

Occupational therapists are also able to help you with practical things such as what you physically can and cannot do and how you can be more independent. They can help you regain confidence and advise you on what sort of help is available in your area.

Other information about the CMHT

There are many other members of the CMHT which will differ from area to area but can include various counsellors and therapists as well as receptionists and secretaries.

The CMHT will often operate out of a doctor’s surgery or a local hospital or health clinic but again, this varies from region to region.

All the professional members of the Community Mental Health Team work closely with each other and will have regular meetings to discuss specific cases and the best ways of dealing with them.

You are likely to be assigned a key worker who will be your main point of contact. This key worker could be a nurse or a social worker or anyone else in the team. They will be familiar with your case, will get to know you and gain an understanding of any particular difficulties you might have and will be able to talk to you about your treatment and what you can expect regarding your care.

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