If you are struggling with your mental health there are a number of routes you can take:
Silver Cloud is a new platform and a great place to start in seeking help regarding your mental health, the platform is available to our patients on a self referral basis. Please click here to be directed to the Silver Cloud to find out more and self referral into this platform.
Mental Health Matters
As Handbridge Medical Centre is part of the Chester South PCN, we have a new service we can refer patients into, you do not need to see a doctor to be referred into this service, just ask one of receptionists, they will go through the criteria with you and if you are eligible and consent they will refer you onto the Mental Health Matters team. The Mental Health Matters team offer counselling to help patients learn tools, coping mechanisms, and strategies to manage their anxiety/depression.
Once your referral has been sent you will hear from the Mental Health Matters team within 48 working hours.
Please note you will not be eligible for referral if:
- You are currently engaging in psychological treatment with the Primary Care Mental Health Team or any other service.
- You are reliant/have an addiction to drugs/alcohol.
- You want to work on PTSD, trauma, or an eating disorder.
- You have symptoms of psychosis (e.g hearing voices).
- You are experiencing suicidal ideas or thoughts of self harm.
Anxiety & Depression Scale
You can submit this easy to use patient questionnaire has been validated for use in Primary Care.
It is used by your doctor to monitor the severity of depression and response to treatment.
It can also be used to make a tentative diagnosis of depression.
If you have any concerns causing you to complete this assessment then please could you contact the surgery and make an appointment with a GP.
You can also book an appointment to see a GP to discuss in person, or on telephone consultation, GP's can also refer patients to other mental health services.
Mental Health Crises
A mental health crisis often means that you no longer feel able to cope or be in control of your situation.
You may feel great emotional distress or anxiety, cannot cope with day-to-day life or work, think about suicide or self-harm, or experience hallucinations and hearing voices.
A crisis can also be the result of an underlying medical condition, such as confusion or delusions caused by an infection, overdose, illicit drugs or intoxication with alcohol. Confusion may also be associated with dementia.
Find out more about the symptoms of dementia
Whether you experience a sudden deterioration of an existing mental health problem or are experiencing problems for the first time, you'll need immediate expert assessment to identify the best course of action and stop you getting worse.
Where can I get help?
If you have already been given a Crisis Line number from a health professional, call it.
If you're under the care of a mental health team and have a specific care plan that states who to contact when you need urgent care, follow this plan.
The charity Mind provides information about how to plan for a crisis.
Samaritans has a free to call service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, if you want to talk to someone in confidence. Call them on 116 123.
Find local crisis support services near you
Contact NHS 111
You can call NHS 111 if you or someone you know needs urgent care, but it's not life threatening.
- if you have an existing mental health problem and your symptoms get worse
- if you experience a mental health problem for the first time
- if someone has self-harmed but it does not appear to be life threatening, or they're talking about wanting to self-harm
- if a person shows signs of possible dementia
- if a person is experiencing domestic violence or physical, sexual or emotional abuse
Book an emergency GP appointment
You can also contact your GP surgery and ask for an emergency appointment.
In a crisis, you should be offered an appointment with the first available doctor.
Visit A&E or call 999
A mental health emergency should be taken as seriously as a medical emergency.
Examples of mental health emergencies include thinking you're at risk of taking your own life or seriously harming yourself and needing immediate medical attention.
Call 999 if you or someone you know experiences an acute life-threatening medical or mental health emergency.
You can go to A&E directly if you need immediate help and are worried about your safety.
You may be close to acting on suicidal thoughts or have seriously harmed yourself.
Find your nearest A&E
Once at A&E, the team will tend to your immediate physical and mental health needs.
Many hospitals now have a liaison psychiatry service, which is designed to bridge the gap between physical and mental healthcare.
The Royal College of Psychiarity website has more information about liaison psychiatry services.
If this service is not available, the A&E team will contact the local on-call mental health services, such as the crisis resolution and home treatment teams (CRHTs).
The team in charge of your care will assess you and decide on the best course of care, and whether you can go home or need to be admitted to hospital.
When to contact social services
If you have urgent concerns about someone's social circumstances, such as children and young people, vulnerable adults or people with learning difficulties, it may be more appropriate to call social services.
Local government services, such as housing services and social care services, often run out-of-hours duty provision.
Search for your local council to find out how your social care service deals with emergencies out of office hours.
Social care services may also be involved in the assessment of people in crisis through the legislation of the Mental Health Act.
What are crisis resolution and home treatment services (CRHT)?
CRHTs treat people with severe mental health conditions who are currently experiencing an acute and severe psychiatric crisis that, without the involvement of the CRHT, would require hospitalisation.
Psychotic episodes, severe self-harm and suicide attempts are examples of acute mental health crises.
Because of the nature of their work, CRHTs offer a 24-hour service, and cases are often referred to them through A&E departments or the police service.
CRHTs will usually review a person in their own home, but they may also see people in other community settings, such as dedicated crisis houses or day centres.
They may also see people who are in psychiatric hospitals and are ready to go on leave or be discharged.
CRHTs will help them manage getting back into the community, as people can be particularly vulnerable in the time shortly after leaving hospital.
CRHTs are also involved in the planning of care for someone who's had a crisis to prevent any relapse in the future.
This will usually involve working with the local community mental health team.
What are crisis houses?
Crisis houses offer safe short-term accommodation and support to people experiencing a mental health crisis.
They're used when home treatment is not suitable, or as a short-term alternative to hospital admission.
Crisis homes usually have a small number of beds. They generally offer support for a particular group of people, such as people at risk of suicide.
Some crisis houses accept self-referrals, but referrals are often taken from secondary mental health services.
(Information on Mental Health Crises taken from NHS.UK)