If you are referred to H.S.E. mental health services, the mental health team (with your involvement) will write up a care plan for you. The care plan includes assessment of your health and social care needs, alongside the plan for delivery and review of care. The plan is an agreement between you and the mental health team, and your family or loved ones may also be involved.

The care plan helps ensure you get the most appropriate care from your mental health team. The plan should have specific goals and targets, and be easy to understand.

The stages of a care plan

  • Assessment
    During assessment, all contributing factors are explored. This can include health and social issues.

  • Care and recovery plan
    This begins to tackle the factors highlighted in the assessment, what is going to be done to help and who is responsible for making it happen. Your needs should be at the centre of this plan and be in agreement with the proposals. It is important that all your concerns are considered and that the services needed to address these concerns, and aid recovery, are available. Where services are not available to meet the identified needs, a record should be kept so that they may be considered by managers responsible for service development. There must be agreement by all as to the course of action and those responsible for its delivery.

  • Key worker
    Where this service is available, this is the named person responsible for co-ordinating the care & recovery plan. Any concerns should be raised with the key worker. The choice to change this person should be available without fear of affecting the quality of service offered. If you do not have a key worker, ask who you should first contact with any concerns.

  • Review
    The key worker ensures that the care and recovery plan is reviewed regularly, at least annually, by all involved. This review helps to identify what is working well, what needs changing, and what else needs to be included, so that recovery is ongoing and support can be altered as your needs change.

Content provided by Shine and adapted for YourMentalHealth.ie by the National Office for Suicide Prevention. Find out more about our content partnerships