Our Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) are multi-disciplinary, multi-agency assessment teams designed to provide mental health care and treatment for those individuals with more complex and enduring mental health needs who can benefit from specialist interventions.
The CMHTs also provide treatment and care for those with time-limited disorders who it is felt may benefit from specialist interventions.
The teams provide services to people experiencing mental health difficulties in both the community and in-patient settings in order to promote positive mental health and independence. Thereby ensuring improved access to appropriate support services and resources, supporting timely discharge from hospital and reducing the need for hospital admission
Aims of Service
The key aims of the CMHT are:
• To provide a range of evidenced based mental health interventions focused on positive outcomes for the service user.
• To enable the users of the service to continue to live independently at home or alternatives of their choice. Within this the Team recognise that the majority of people with mental health needs are supported within Primary Care and Social Care Services. Therefore the team recognises the importance of establishing closer links with these services in order that the client’s independence and choices are maximised and that interventions are offered in the least restrictive setting.
• To develop and foster collaborative working relations with individuals GP’s and practices, Primary Care Trusts, Care Trust, Social Care, Health, Voluntary and Independent organisations in the interests of services users and carers.
• To provide an accessible, approachable, specialised multi-disciplinary service, which meets the needs of the service group.
• To be a local resource, which can be used to facilitate greater understanding of mental health difficulties and there management to individuals and other organisations.
• To ensure appropriate training and education to ensure ongoing service development and improvement, recognising the role that service users and carers have to play in the education and training of professional staff.
• To offer prompt assistance in providing specialist mental health assessment support and treatment to the service group. As a means of achieving this we encourage the active involvement of service users and carers in the process of individual needs-led care, planning, service delivery and review.
• Support carers by offering information, advice and a separate assessment of their own individual needs.
• To ensure that communication links are established between all of the agencies offering services to the individual and their carers by working proactively and sharing the responsibilities of care, as appropriate.
Scope of Service
Adults of working age and those over the age of 65 previously referred to as ‘graduates’ who have grown older and continued to experience severe and enduring mental health needs which do not require referral to older age mental health services.
Hours of Service
Working hours are primarily from 9 – 5 week days with flexible out of hours working for specific tasks (e.g. evening work for relative/CLIENT support groups), also with moderately extended hours e.g. 8a.m. –7p.m. , embracing G.P. surgery times, accommodating clients work hours etc...
No crisis provision is made out of hours by the CMHT and service users and carer’s would access the local emergency services (crisis resolution home treatment teams, help lines, A&E etc).
Referrals & Assessment
Criteria for Referral
• Clients must be 18 years and over
• Have severe or chronic mental illness e.g. schizophrenia or a severe affective disorder and are displaying florid symptoms not responding to treatment at a primary care level.
• Have severe depression-not responding to treatment at a primary care level
• Suffer substantial disability as a result of severe mental illness, preventing them from caring for themselves independently, sustaining relationships or employment.
• Have suffered recurring mental health crises leading to frequent admissions or interventions and individuals who pose significant risk to their own safety or that of others.
Sources of Referral
CMHT’s are secondary services and accept referrals for assessment from GPs, primary care team members, social services and all other components of the mental health services (e.g. CAMHS, Forensic services, psychology, and other specialised mental health teams).