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Who is caring for you

Learn more about the roles of people who may be looking after you and terms you may hear.

Advocate –someone who you can appoint to help you say what you want. People can advocate for themselves (self advocacy) or have an independent person advocate on their behalf.

AOT -Assertive Outreach Team provides care to people who find it difficult to engage with other services.

Care  co coordinator -a named individual designated as the main point of contact and support for your ongoing care. This could be a nurse, social worker or other mental health worker appropriate for your situation.

Carer practitioner -a professionally qualified worker who provides advice, support and guidance to community/inpatient staff working with the carers of service users with mental health problems. It is the role of carer practitioner to champion carer issues within these services.

CRHT - Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment Team is a multi-disciplinary team which acts as the gateway to hospital. They also offer people the choice of treatment at home, where possible.

Addiction Services Drug and Alcohol Team - provides help, advice and treatment to people with substance misuse problems.

CMHT -community mental health team is a community based multi-disciplinary assessment and treatment service for people experiencing mental health problems. Referrals are usually made by your GP.

CPA -Care Programme Approach is the name for the way care plans for specific individual service users are organised in the community.

CPN -community psychiatric nurse.

CMHN - community mental health nurse is a registered nurse with specialist training who works in the community. Most work as part of the community mental health team.

Early Intervention Team - a specialist multi-disciplinary team to help people aged 14 to 35 who are experiencing their first episode of psychosis.

IAPT – a programme in which talking therapies are used to treat people with depression and anxiety disorders.

MDT – your multi-disciplinary team is all the professionals who are involved in some way in your care.

OT -occupational therapists help people build up the confidence and skills needed for personal, social, domestic, leisure or work activities. They work in psychiatric units, day hospitals and in the community.

Psychiatrist -psychiatrists are qualified medical doctors who have taken further training and specialised in mental illness. The consultant psychiatrist is the most senior member of the team with overall responsibility for patient assessment and care, but you may more often see the consultant’s assistant, called the registrar.

Psychologist - psychology is the scientific study of human behaviour and mental processes. There are different types of psychologists; the two most relevant to mental health are clinical and counselling. Clinical psychology concerns the assessment and treatment of mental health problems. Counselling psychologists use talking therapies to help people with mental and emotional problems.

Psychotherapist –your psychotherapist works with you to help you understand why you are feeling the way you do, and what lies behind your responses to other people and to things that happen in your life.

OP CMHT - a specialist mental health team for older people.

Social worker - offers advice on practical matters such as day care, accommodation or welfare benefits, or can link you with appropriate services. Most social workers work as part of a community mental health team.