If you have been referred to the Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) for an assessment, by your GP or another service, you may be feeling a bit anxious about what to expect.
How long will I have to wait until I see someone at the CMHT?
It normally takes up to two weeks for someone to make an initial contact with you, to find out how you are and to ask for some more information to help with the assessment.
Where will I need to go?
There are three community mental health teams in Leeds. Each one covers an area of Leeds:
- South Leeds – the unit is based at Aire Court (LS10 4BS)
- East Leeds – the unit is based at St. Mary’s House (LS7 3LA)
- West Leeds – the unit is based at St. Mary’s Hospital (LS12 3QE)
You will be referred to the mental health unit which is linked to your GP surgery, not necessarily nearest to where you live. The CMHT will send you an appointment in the post with information about where to go. It’s very important to contact the team (or ask someone else to do this, if this is difficult for you) to let them know if you can’t make the appointment. Sometimes, if you are not able to leave your house, your assessment may take place at your home.
What will happen at the assessment?
Your first meeting with the community team is usually with a mental health nurse or a community occupational therapist rather than a psychiatrist. You will not be given a diagnosis or medication at your first appointment, but will be helped to understand more about your mental health difficulties.
You can watch this video which talks you through what to expect at a CMHT assessment.
The person that you meet will understand that you may be feeling anxious about talking to someone you’ve never met before about your mental health. You are welcome to bring someone to support you. Mental health professionals in the CMHT, are trained and experienced in understanding mental health difficulties and we will treat you in a way that is kind and non-judgemental.
Your appointment may last for up to an hour. This is because talking about your mental health is something that can’t be rushed and it’s important that you have the time to share all the information that may be important.
The information that you give during the meeting is confidential. The CMHT will only share it within the community team and with your GP (or with the person who referred you if this is not your GP). The CMHT do not share your information with other professionals or people unless there is a significant risk to yourself or others – and you will be informed if the team are going to share this information.
It’s important before the appointment that you think about what you want to happen as a result of the assessment. It may be that you want some support, or you may feel that you need to talk with someone about how you are feeling, or you may just want to feel better in yourself.
What happens next?
After the meeting, the team will contact you to talk about the assessment and how you can best be supported. There are lots of different options which might be discussed with you according to your individual needs. Some of these could include:
- A talking therapy – a kind of treatment which involves talking to a therapist about your thoughts and feelings.
- Linking Leeds social prescribing service which could help you to access a range of non-medical services or activities to improve your health or wellbeing.
- Support from another agency such as Mind or Forward Leeds who support people experiencing problems with alcohol and drugs.
- Medication prescribed by your GP.
If your difficulties are more severe and significantly affecting your day-to-day life you may be allocated a care coordinator, for a period of time, who will visit you at home. Both you and the care coordinator (a mental health nurse or occupational therapist) will together work out a care plan to meet your needs.