The aim of out-patient and community services is to treat and support individuals in their own homes and communities where possible. Family doctors (G.P.s) are central to the delivery of community care services.
This is a clinic in the community and you usually need an appointment to attend the out-patient clinic. The clinic appointment can be for an assessment, follow-up or continuing management of your mental health concern. Out-patient clinics are often based in community health centres and are staffed by a consultant psychiatrist, community mental health nurses and other members of the mental health team, as required. A consultant psychiatrist leads the psychiatric team. This psychiatrist will be responsible for your treatment, whether in the community or in hospital.
This is a day facility where people with mental illness can attend from their home or care setting for an assessment, treatment or nursing care. It is for those people who are unwell but who can also be cared for in their homes, for a period of time, without needing a hospital admission. The consultant psychiatrist who sees you in the out-patient clinic will usually treat you in the day hospital also.
This is a centre in the community, where people attend voluntarily from their home or care setting, for continuing support. It is staffed by community mental health nurses and, occasionally, occupational therapists. The aim of the centre is to provide a friendly and supportive environment with activities suited to the needs of each individual. It is not unusual for some people to attend a day centre for a long period of time. For others, a short period is all that is required.
This is a community facility where the emphasis is on people with mental illness working in areas suited to their skills or needs, with support and guidance from trained staff.