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Mental Health

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Mental Health Training

When you first think about approaching mental health services it can seem quite daunting.  Who do you go to first?  What will they do?  How much control will you have?  Will it work?  You know where you want to get to - feeling well - but you don't know how to get there.  What you need is a map.  This page guides you through the highways and byways of mental health services...

Places to start
If you are feeling out of control emotionally, or worried that you may have a mental health problem, there are a number of places you could go to first.  

Your doctor

  • Talk about your problems
  • Check whether your problems have a physical cause
  • Give you medicine for depression, anxiety and other conditions
  • Refer you to an appropriate service
  • Ask you to see their practice counsellor
  • Send you to hospital

For many people, the road stops here.  They are treated by their doctor and are happy with the result.

Remember:  If you think your doctor may be too busy to talk through your problems, you can arrange with the receptionist for a long appointment.  Or you could write everything down in a letter and send it to your doctor.

For more information about approaching a doctor, contact Advocacy Service North East Wales or telephone 01352 759332

There are numerous helplines for all kinds of mental health problems.

Helplines can:

  • Give you very specialised advice - some helplines are focused on particular conditions like depression, anxiety, schizophrenia and so on.
  • Put you in contact with local organisations who can help - national helplines may have lists of local agencies and local helplines.
  • Protect your identity - you do not have to tell the person on the other end who you are.
  • Provide a listening service

To contact the CALL Mental Health Helpline  Telephone 0800 132737.

Primary Care Mental Health Service
Primary Care Mental Health Service is a team which provides treatment and care services to adults with common mental health problems.  You can make contact with the team yourself or ask your G.P. to refer you.  An appointment will then be arranged for you to discuss your needs.  Following this,

  • It may be felt that no further action is required
  • You may be signposted to other relevant specialist agencies and community groups
  • You may be offered individual sessions with a member of staff or offered a place with a group of people with similar problems such as depression, anxiety or stress.

To find out more about Primary Care Mental Health Service Telephone: 01244 836220

Parabl Telephone 0300 777 2257    www.parabl.org
Offers talking therapies for people with mild to moderate mental health problems. ask@parabl.org

Where next?
For many people their journey stops at the doctor's surgery, or at a self-help group or at Primary Care Mental Health Service.  But for other people, these services are not enough.  You may find yourself referred to a Community Mental Health Team.  If you are referred to a Community Mental Health Team, this does not mean that your problems are worse than other people's.  It just means that you need more specialist help and because you are referred on, this doesn't mean that you will take longer to get better either.

So, what do these services have to offer?

Community Mental Health Teams
Community Mental Health Teams (C.M.H.T.s) are run jointly by Flintshire County Council Social Services and the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.  The Community Mental Health Team can offer you a range of services under one roof. Team members include:

  • Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Psychiatrists

Although all the professionals have their own skills and interests, they all work together to provide the best mix of care for you.  Because time and resources are limited, teams will only deal with people who are most in need.

If you have been referred to a team by your doctor, you will be allocated a Care Coordinator.  The two of you should sit down and agree on your best course of treatment.  This agreement will be written down and is called your Care Plan under the Care Plan Approach.

Very occasionally, as part of your care, your care coordinator may suggest that you spend some time in hospital.  This does not mean you will be held there against your will or "sectioned".  Most people in hospital for mental health problems go there freely, and are free to leave at any time.  This is known as being an "informal patient".

To find out more about what happens in hospital see the next section.  If you are very distressed you may be taken to hospital without your consent.  You would then come under one of the sections of the Mental Health Act.

To find out more about the Community Mental Health Teams contact:

  • Deeside Community Mental Health Team Telephone 01244 834921
  • Mold and Flint Community Mental Health Team Telephone 01352 750252

You can find yourself in hospital from a number of different routes.  You may have been sent there by your doctor, by the Community Mental Health Team or you may be there under a section of the Mental Health Act.  You are far less likely to be asked to go into hospital now than ten or twenty years ago and even if you do, your stay will probably be a short one.

You may be asked to go into hospital because:

  • Your Care Coordinator wants to be absolutely sure that you have been given the right medication or treatment.
  • You are too distressed to be able to cope at home.

If you go to hospital under your own free will, you are called a "voluntary patient".  Most people in hospital are voluntary patients.  If you do not like your treatment, you can leave at any time but it's a good idea to discuss it with the staff first.  For more information on your rights in hospital contact the Advocacy Service North East Wales.  Most hospitals will have an information leaflet telling you when visiting times are, where all the facilities like toilets are, what happens to your possessions and so on.  You can usually find banks, cafes, places of worship and advice centres at, or close to the hospital.

To find out more about the hospitals contact:

Heddfan Psychiatric Unit, Wrecsam Maelor Hospital  Telephone 01978 726800.

Compulsory Treatment
If people around you are concerned that you might harm yourself or other people, you can be taken to hospital without your consent.  This means you are treated under the various different sections of the Mental Health Act 1983.  Many of the organisations in the "other useful contacts" section below will be able to give you information on the Mental Health Act.

Sometimes people are not happy with the treatment they receive for their mental health problems.  You can complain about most of the services listed in this page - bear in mind however that different services have very different ways of dealing with complaints.

To find out more about how to complain contact:

Betsi Cadwaladr Community Health Council  Telephone 01978 356178.
Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Telephone 01978 291100.
Advocacy Service North East Wales Telephone 01352 759332.
Flintshire County Council Social Services  Telephone 01352 803444
Out of hours Tel: 0845 0533116

Other useful contacts:
Flintshire Citizens Advice Bureau provides free, confidential advice and information on social welfare and law.

Flintshire Family Support -
Hafal - Tel: 01352 718001 or email Flintshire@hafal.org
Hafaims to complement statutory mental health services by providing support with a sensitive independent perspective to families /carers of those who are coping with the effects of severe mental illness.

Advocacy Service North East Wales - Telephone 01352 759332 or email: advocacy@asnew.org.uk
Provides an independent confidential and free advocacy service for people experiencing mental health problems living in Flintshire.
North Wales Independent Mental Capacity Advocacy
North Wales Independent Mental Health Advocacy
Pair Relative Persons Representative Service

NHS Direct Wales - Telephone 0845 4647.
Confidential health advice and information, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.Staffed by qualified nurses and health information advisers.

North East Wales Carer Information Service - Telephone 01352 752525.

Flintshire Mind - Telephone 01352 757637. enquiries@flintshiremind.org.uk
Information and support for people with mental health problems delivered from a Wellbeing Centre in Mold. Includes counselling, mindfulness, stress management, relaxation and massage therapy.
National Mind information line - Telephone 0300 123 3393

Papyrus - Telephone 0800 068 41 41.
HOPELineUK is the national confidential helpline of PAPYRUS - Prevention of Young Suicide. HOPELineUK offers confidential support, information and practical advice for young people who may be at risk of harming themselves, and is also for families, friends and professionals.

KIM Inspire  01352 872189

Wales Rural Stress Helpline - Telephone 0800 0858 119.

Flintshire County Council Social Services - Telephone 01352 803444.

Useful Reading:
Mind information booklets: Mind UK the mental health charity, produces a wide range of very readable leaflets on everything from phobias and depression to your rights under the Mental Health Act.  Contact the Mind Information Line on 0300 123 3393 to find out more.

TrainingTraining for Flintshire County Council Mental Health service users and carers

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