Community care and aftercare

Answers some of the common questions about community care and aftercare and explains the options available.

Your stories

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Nadia vlogs on the many different therapies she's tried to deal with depression and traits of BPD.

Mental Health Selfies
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Terms you need to know



Approved Mental Health Professional (AMHP)

A mental health professional approved by a local social services authority to carry out duties under the Mental Health Act. An AMHP can be a social worker, nurse, occupational therapist or chartered psychologist.

Community Mental Health Team (CMHT)

Provides mental health care support in the community and usually includes social workers, community psychiatric nurses (CPNs), psychologists and psychiatrists.

Hospital managers (also known as Mental Health Act managers)

An independent team of people in a hospital who make sure that the requirements of the Mental Health Act are properly applied. They have certain important responsibilities and can make decisions related to your detention – for example, they can hear your application to be discharged and decide whether or not to discharge you.

Independent Mental Health Advocate (IMHA)

An advocate trained to work under the Mental Health Act and who is available to advise and help certain patients, e.g. those who are detained under certain sections of the MHA, are under guardianship, are on a community treatment order, or who discuss certain rare treatments with health staff.

Informal patient

A person being treated in psychiatric hospital, who is not detained under a section of the MHA: also known as a 'voluntary patient'.

Medical treatment for mental disorder

Includes nursing and also care, habilitation and rehabilitation under medical supervision (section 145 MHA).

Mental Health Act 1983 (MHA)

The main Act of Parliament that covers the care and treatment of people with mental health problems. It has been amended by the Mental Health Act 2007.

Mental Health Tribunal (the tribunal)

An independent panel that decides if a person detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 should remain subject to compulsory detention or supervision in the community.

Nearest relative

Section 26 of the Mental Health Act determines who may be considered as your nearest relative – a person with certain rights and powers under the Act. That person may be your next-of-kin, but you may need legal advice to check this.

Responsible clinician (RC)

The mental health professional with overall responsibility for a person's care and treatment in hospital. This may be a doctor but can also be some other health professional.

This information was published in March 2017. We will revise it in 2019.

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