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Support for complex mental health problems

An initial mental health assessment

Seeing your GP

If you're worried about your mental health, the first thing to do is to see your GP.

Your GP will ask you questions about your mood, thoughts and lifestyle to help them to understand your mental state and will begin to make a diagnosis. They may recommend counselling or another 'talking therapy', or some medication which may help. In such circumstances they will keep an eye on your mental health, and it may be that you don't need more specialist assessment and support.

Specialist mental health support

If your doctor thinks you have a more serious mental health problem which needs treatment and monitoring by specialist mental health professionals, they will refer you for an assessment by a specialist mental health team.

Your local mental health team will be made up of both health professionals from your local NHS mental health trust, and social workers employed by your local council. This mental health team will assess both your health and your social care needs.

Following this assessment they may offer you a brief period of support to set you on the road to recovery, before referring you back to your GP for any ongoing treatment.

Alternatively if your mental health needs are more complex then they will refer you on to a mental health recovery team, who will agree longer-term support arrangements with you to aid your recovery. This process is known as the Care Programme Approach (CPA).

If your social care needs are high enough to meet the criteria for support set by your local council then you may be offered a personal budget to pay towards the cost of your social care. The following pages will explain more about this process:

Requesting an assessment - this page explains how a council will assess someone's social care needs, regardless of whether or not they have a mental health problem

Personal budgets and direct payments - this page explains how your council may pay towards the costs of any social care which you receive following the assessment

If your support is arranged under the Care Programme Approach then you may work with a variety of health and social care professionals, including doctors, psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers.

The following websites provide good information on what happens under the Care Programme Approach:-

Rethink
NHS Choices

If you feel that your situation is urgent then go to our page on Support in a crisis for advice on what to do.

If you are otherwise concerned about your mental health (including problems with anxiety, depression or your memory), or about the mental health of someone you know, then you should first of all make an appointment with your GP. He or she will undertake an initial assessment of your situation and may then refer you on to your local specialist mental health support team if appropriate. 

If you have already been referred on by your GP to a specialist team then you will find their contact details below.

Specialist mental health support in Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea

Specialist mental health support in Westminster and Kensington and Chelsea is provided by the Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust in partnership with your local council.

Initial support

The Assessment and Brief Treatment Teams work with people with mental health problems between the ages of 18 and 65 who are newly referred to the service by their GP. An assessment of their mental health needs (see above) will be carried out by a member of the team, feedback given, and time-limited treatment offered if appropriate:-

Longer-term support

Following assessment those with more complex and long-standing mental heatlh problems may be referred on to a Community Mental Health Team who will provide longer-term support.

The Older People Community Mental Health Teams work with people with mental health problems over the age of 65:-

Concerns about your memory

If you have concerns about your memory or the possible early signs of dementia then go our section on Dementia and memory loss for advice on what to do.

Specialist mental health support in Hammersmith and Fulham

Specialist mental health support in Hammersmith and Fulham is provided by the West London Mental Health Trust in partnership with your local council.

Initial support

The Hammersmith and Fulham Assessment and Short-term Service Team support people of all ages who live in Hammersmith & Fulham and have  mental health problems, and have been referred to the service by their GP.

Longer-term support

Following assessment from the Assessment and Short-term Service Team you may be referred on to a recovery team if your needs are more complex or if you have severe and enduring mental health problems:-

Support at short notice

The West London Mental Health Trust Help Line is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
If you (or someone you look after) become unwell and need advice or support the trained mental health advisers can help over the phone or contact other services for you if necessary.
Tel - 24-hour support line: 0300 1234 244

Concerns about your memory

If you have concerns about your memory or the possible onset of dementia then go our section on Dementia and memory loss for advice on what to do.

Other information and advice

Please see the Other information and Advice page for organisations and services that support people with experience of mental health issues.