Mental health services
If I have a mental health problem – where do I go?
Your family doctor is usually the first person to approach in relation to mental health concerns. Many people attend their General Practitioner (GP) with mental health problems such as depression or anxiety and may not need the help of a mental health professional. In other cases the GP may decide to refer you to the community mental health team. In an emergency situation, when your GP is not available, you may access the Mental Health Services through the accident and emergency department in your local hospital.
Where do I get help?
There are a range of supports in your community.
What are the services I can access directly?
There are a number of services that you may access directly, these include:
There are a number of groups that provide information on specific mental health conditions such as schizophrenia or eating disorders. Other groups provide support for issues that may impact upon your mental health such as addiction, bereavement, financial problems, or sexuality.
You can find a list of support groups here.
HSE Services that may be accessed through your GP
Your GP can provide support directly or refer you to HSE community mental health team. The HSE provide community mental health services for all ages and services including child and adolescent mental health services, adult mental health services, and psychiatry of later life services.
What happens after referral to a community mental health team?
You will be given an opportunity to meet with a mental health professional, usually a psychiatrist who will assess your needs. Waiting times may vary depending on where you live. Treatment may include services that are based in the community (out-patient care) or hospital based services (in-patient care). Mental health professionals such as psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurses, family therapists, social care workers, child care workers, speech and language therapists; and occupational therapists are included in the HSE community mental health team.
The Community Mental Health Team aims to treat a person in their own home and community where possible. Community mental health teams provide services in out-patient clinics, day hospitals and day centres. All communities also have a mental health unit where people who require in-patient treatment are cared for. Most in-patient services are within general hospitals. Admissions are usually of a short duration and most people go to hospital by choice. A small number of people may be ‘involuntarily detained’ in a mental health services. The Mental Health Act 2001 sets out provisions and principles that apply to anyone who is admitted involuntarily. A guide to the Mental Health Act may be found on the Mental Health Commission website.
For more details on mental health services provided by the HSE please see www.yourmentalhealth.ie