The first point of contact with the Adult Mental Health Service is through your GP.
It is advisable to see your GP or family doctor if:
- You have any concerns regarding your mental health
- You are experiencing distressing emotional symptoms which interfere with daily living.
- You have isolated yourself from others to a worrying degree or You are seriously and repeatedly contemplating suicide.
Following a medical assessment, your GP may provide the relevant mental
health care you need, or may refer you to the Community Mental Health Team.
Community Mental Health Team
The Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) – often referred to as the multidisciplinary team - provides specialist, multidisciplinary assessment, treatment and support to help people with mental health difficulties. The multidisciplinary team is generally comprised of a Psychiatrist and Junior Doctor, Nursing Staff, Psychologist, Social Worker and Community Mental Health Nurse. The CMHT may also include other health professionals such as Family Therapists, Addiction Counsellors, Occupational Therapists etc.
ASSESSMENT & CAREPLANNING
In South Tipperary, the adult mental health service uses the ACIR (Assessment, Careplanning & Integrated Records) process. Following referral to the adult mental health service, a member of the CMHT will complete an assessment with the patient. The purpose of this assessment is to:
- Meet the patient and assess his/her mental state (may include a medical examination)
- Get background information regarding personal, family, and occupational history
- Get background information regarding medical and psychiatric history.
- Identify the individual's specific mental health difficulties, and its impact on their life.
- Conduct a risk assessment.
- Identify other pressing needs (eg: housing issues etc).
Based on the information provided, a CAREPLAN is drawn up for the
patient (service user), and takes into account his/her individual health and social needs. A careplan simply outlines the plan of treatment and care specific to that individual. The patient has input into developing the careplan. If the patient is working with several health professionals simultaneously, then the multidisciplinary team will also be involved.
For psychiatric inpatients, the careplan assists in identifying steps which need to be taken to address the patient's specific difficulties and to work towards hospital discharge. Following discharge, the careplan outlines what measures are necessary in order for the service user to maintain good health and prevent relapse.
The care plan is reviewed on a regular basis, so that as the needs of the service user changes, the care plan can be adjusted accordingly. Each service user is given a copy of the careplan.
Accessing Mental Health Services in Crisis Situations
Crisis or emergency situations can arise at any time, including late at night or at weekends. In the event of this happening, contact a GP or CAREDOC or go directly to Accident and Emergency Services.
Difficulties can arise if a person becomes acutely unwell and is reluctant to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for intensive treatment. Furthermore, family members may feel reluctant to have the person admitted against his/her will.
Should an assisted admission become necessary, there is new provision in the Mental Health Act for an Authorised Officer to act on behalf of family members. Your GP can advise you on this.