SCIE Introduction mental health services

Mental disorders

There are a wide range of mental health diagnoses and these are too numerous and complex to describe here. It is important to recognise that diagnoses are based on the symptoms a person displays, and a ‘text book presentation’ is rare. Individuals can experience more than one disorder at a time, making diagnosis a complex and difficult process. Mental distress happens across a spectrum – not all people experience the same severity of symptoms or level of impact on their daily living.

Some people have one-off severe episode; others may experience periodic attacks of distress, while others may have ongoing symptoms. A person's mental health is affected by their current and past experiences and this will also effect their willingness or ability to engage with services and interventions.

It is essential to keep in mind the current social and personal circumstances of an individual. A person's mental health problem may be complicated by additional needs such as a learning disability, physical difficulty or substance misuse problem. These can all have an impact on the individual receiving interventions.

It is worth asking both the service user and the AMH worker certain key questions:

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