SCIE Introduction mental health services


The interventions that may be offered are various and depend on local need and availability. They may be offered:

Vocational interventions

Where a need has been identified as part of a service user’s recovery plan, the AMH worker will support an individual’s access to vocational and/or work-based support services.

Social care interventions

A number of service users will need support in the home – for example, help with household or daily living activities. This may include helping a person get to group-based interventions.

A number of areas may offer specialist day care support.

Therapeutic interventions

A wide range of therapies may be available in each area, but it is important to note that they are not suitable for all. The service user's wish to engage in any therapy is crucial. Service users will need a specialist assessment to take part in any therapeutic intervention – all are time-limited, and there is often a waiting list. Bear in mind that the relationship formed between the service user and the mental health professional is also part of the therapeutic process.

Below is a brief description of some key therapies:

Medical interventions

In AMH services a range of treatments are available and the decision to offer medication is made by either the psychiatrist or the GP. The provision of medication is one tool that can aid recovery, used alongside other interventions.

Due to the range of medication available it is not possible to give a brief overview of each. However, there are key questions you may want to ask the prescribing doctor:

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Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure that involves applying a brief controlled electric current to the brain – through the scalp – under a general anaesthetic. The decision to use this treatment is taken after a full discussion with the service user and is usually only prescribed if alternative treatments have failed to improve the service user’s health. It remains a controversial treatment.