Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs)
Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) provide community based services to people aged between 16 – 65 who are experiencing mental health issues. The Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) are multi-agency teams consisting of different mental health professionals such as community mental health nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, support time recovery workers, administration workers, psychiatrists and psychologists.
The Community Mental Health Teams are managed by the The Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT).
- Referral into the CMHT
- Key Worker or Care Co-ordinator
- The Care Programme Approach (CPA) and your Care Plan
- Find your local Community Mental Health Team (CMHT)
If you are referred into the CMHT this is usually done, with your agreement, through your GP. Click here for more information. There are other ways you can be referred, in some cases people are referred through the A & E department at the local hospital, or by a social worker or the police, if you are referred in this way it would usually be because you are experiencing a crisis.
When you are referred into the CMHT your details will be passed to the Access Team of your local CMHT. They will contact you to get some more information and discuss what the next steps available to you are.
When referred into the CMHT the team will contact you and will arrange for a meeting to take place to assess mental health needs. This meeting could happen at home, at the CMHT offices or at another suitable location.
When you attend your assessment, please take along any medication that you are on – including over the counter medicines.
At the assessment questions will be asked about your mental health issues, your strengths and abilities as well as what support you may have in your own social network. This assessment may take place over a few meetings, to make sure that the CMHT has all of the necessary information available so they can work with you in the best way to plan what support will be needed. After the assessment is completed you should then be advised what the next steps are on the route to recovery. This may mean being directed to something suitable in the community or it could be that further support is needed from the CMHT.
When attending an assessment it would be helpful for you to give some thought in advance as to what you think your needs may be, as it can sometimes be difficult to think of everything on the day of the assessment. Below are some suggestions as to the things you might want to keep notes about:·
- If you need support to do something – how often you need this support and how long it takes
- If you are unable to do something because you don’t have the support to do it
- When you do something but it is with difficulty, and when having some support available would make this easier for you
You should think of all aspects of your life, as the assessment should cover:
- Involvement in family, social, community, employment, leisure and learning activities
- Keeping yourself safe
- Any needs you may have which arise from your cultural or religious background
- What help you already receive, including that from relatives or friends and if they are happy to carry on offering this help
If further support is needed from the CMHT a key worker or care coordinator will be assigned to you. This is usually a social worker or a mental health nurse, although it could also be another member of the CMHT.
The key worker or care coordinator is there to connect with you and to make sure you are receiving the help and support that is needed. This is an important partnership, as the key worker is the person responsible for supporting you through any mental health issues you may be experiencing and help you to recover. He or she will be the main source of information regarding treatment, and they may also give counselling or advice.
The key worker will also help everyone else involved to stay in touch with each other. This is to make sure that everyone is working in harmony, with your needs at the centre of the care plan. Community Mental Health Teams have a role in:
- Assessing your needs in consultation with you in relation to any given situation
- Developing a support plan with you, in response to the needs and strengths identified and agreed
- Sharing responsibility with you (and others as needed) to put the support plan in action
- Reviewing the plan with you periodically to see that it is meeting your needs and to agree to any changes.
Your key worker will help co ordinate the care plan. A care plan will hold information about the help and treatment that is being received. This should include what mental health issues there are and what is being done to support these issues as well as who is fulfilling each role in your care.
The care plan should be built around you, and you should receive a copy of your own care-plan (this will also be send to the GP).
If you are going to need to see the CMHT for a while, you may be put on the Care Programme Approach (CPA). This means that you will take part in a meeting usually every six months, to look at the care plan and change it as necessary.
The focus of the CPA should be to promote social inclusion and recovery and to build confidence by understanding a person’s strengths, goals and aspirations as well as any needs and difficulties they experience.
If a family member or friend helps care for you, they may be able to get support in their role as a carer. Your CMHT should ask you about this. To find out more about carers services in Kent and Medway click here.
The links below take you to the Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust (KMPT) website which provides contact details and other information about each of the teams.
KMPT also produce leaflets in a variety of languages about their services. To access these leaflets click here.