Sunday, 28 October 2012

10 interesting facts about the Mental Health Measure

My colleagues have been really busy over the past few weeks finding out what people think about the new Mental Health Vision for Powys. Their report will be out soon, but in the meantime, one thing they flagged up to me was the urgent need for more information about the new Mental Health Measure – which affects how people receive mental health services in Powys from 1 October 2012.

So here are 10 points to get you started:

  1. The Mental Health Measure is law.
  2. If you are experiencing mental distress, you can be assessed, and if appropriate your doctor can now offer you more services to help. These are called primary mental health support services.
  3. If you are referred for a mental health assessment by your doctor, you should receive one in 28 calendar days.
  4. After assessment, you could go to a group session to find out about diet, sleep, exercise and relaxation.
  5. Other options include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), counselling and bibliotherapy (using books to help work through issues), but others will be available if appropriate.
  6. If your doctor refers you for more specialist treatment (called secondary mental health services) you are entitled to have what is called a Care & Treatment Plan – which is all about goals you are working towards.
  7. You will work closely with your care co-ordinator (psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse or social worker), to review the plan at least once a year, and make sure support is in place to help you achieve your goals.
  8. If you have been discharged by the secondary mental health services, but later feel unwell again, you can go back without seeing a GP first if you wish. This applies up to 3 years after your original discharge.
  9. If you are in hospital, whether voluntarily or as a detained patient, you can ask for help from an independent mental health advocate. The advocate will help you make your views known.
  10. All ages are covered by the Mental Health Measure, but for those under 18 the Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) will also be involved. 

You can find out more about the Mental Health Measure here.

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