Caring For Someone With Mental Health At Home
Mental health care at home is usually a temporary measure taken by medical professionals. It's for when you're struggling with day to day life due to a mental illness and need support to get back on your feet.
Community mental health teams can support you in your own home for as long as medical health professionals deem it necessary. CMHTs are for people aged 18-65, while people over 65 years old can receive support from an Older Adult Mental Health Team. These teams are comprised of occupational therapists, psychiatrists, social workers and community psychiatric nurses.
If you feel that you need mental health care at home, contact your doctor.
If someone is suffering from severe mental health difficulties but does not meet the criteria to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act 2007, then they may receive support at home.
If this is the case, your doctor would arrange for you to be visited by a mental health crisis team. They would assess you and decide whether you need to go to hospital, go straight into mental support at home or any other action they feel is necessary. If you're already under a mental health team then the psychiatrist may put mental health care at home in place if you are struggling.
Mental Health Support
The aim of this home care is to help people stay out of hospital, and can be provided instead of admission to hospital or to transition after a stay. You may receive visits from a home care team that includes:
Social workers to help you with social needs and managing your home and finances
Community psychiatric nurses to aid with medication
A psychiatrist to give therapy and help you discuss and understand your feelings
When a person becomes very unwell with a mental illness, they may find it difficult to carry out daily tasks such as getting up, washing, dressing, preparing food etc. The Occupational therapists will help a person with these tasks, or any other tasks they are struggling with to help them create a routine, gradually work towards helping them return to a more productive and meaningful routine.
Support from Older Adult Mental Health Teams is a temporary measure, but many older people who require home care can have mental health support as part of their care package. Some home care services employ care workers who are trained in certain mental health areas, while many can construct your care plan in conjunction with your mental health care needs, ensuring all carers know exactly how to deliver your physical and mental health care.
Many people with mental health issues benefit enormously from counselling. Counsellors help people to talk through their feelings and make sense of them, as well as working with you to develop coping strategies. Counselling can be done from home, via phone or video call. If you live in England, you can refer yourself for psychological therapy on the NHS, rather than going to your doctor. This NHS programme is not currently available in Wales, in Scotland, you can refer yourself to local talking therapy services.
Many people choose to receive private counselling at home. Private counselling enables you to choose how many hours you want. There is a great number of professional counsellors who offer telephone, online or face-to-face service. All repuitable counsellor's should be registered with the British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies.
What support will I receive in my home?
A Community Mental Health Team will care for you. This could comprise of occupational therapists, psychiatrists, social workers and community psychiatric nurses. The team will help you with your health, social and daily support needs, to help you regain routine and independence.
Who can receive mental health care at home?
Your GP (or psychologist if you are already under a mental health team) can arrange for you to receive mental health care at home if you are finding day to day life difficult due to serious mental health problems, but do not meet the criteria to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act 2007.
What happens in a crisis situation?
If you are suffering a mental health crisis but do not meet the criteria to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act 2007, your GP will arrange a visit from a mental health crisis team. They will assess you and decide whether you need to go to hospital or what aspects of mental health care at home would help you.
How long can I receive mental health care at home for?
Mental health care at home is temporary as it is designed to improve your mental health and help you return to your usual routine. You can, however, refer yourself for NHS talking therapy or have private counselling.
Can I have mental health support as part of my home care?
Many home care services can provide specialist or general mental health care as part of your individual care package. They will use information and requests from you, your family and your doctor to put together a care plan that will be delivered by trained carers. This will be regularly reviewed to ensure you are getting the best support.