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Monday, 27 June 2011

Community care options

Many mental health problems are treated by seeing your doctor, nurse or other care worker in your own home or at your doctor's surgery. You may also be treated as an outpatient at your local hospital, where you do not stay in hospital but go for your appointment only.

Community mental health services

There are a lot of community services available to support your medical care - your health worker will be able to tell you if you are eligible.

You may have to pay for some services, or contribute towards them. This is determined by a 'means test'. This is where social services will ask you questions about your income and capital to see whether you should pay or not.

Community care workers can give advice on:

  • how to access employment, education or voluntary work 
  • financial support such as benefits
  • what local facilities are available and how to use them

Day care

Day care centres

These centres are often run by voluntary organisations and offer support and social activities. Your doctor or care co-ordinator may refer you after an assessment. Some places allow you to just turn up; this is called self-referral.

Befriending: one-to-one support

Befriending services are run by voluntary organisations, where volunteers are given specialist training to give support and friendship on a one-to-one basis. You can ask to be part of this scheme; you don't need to be referred.

Help at home with everyday tasks

Local councils can provide services such as a laundry service, meals on wheels and home helps if social services think that it will help you to stay in your home or community. You will need to have a community care assessment to get access to these services.

Supporting People programme

The Supporting People programme gives support and advice about services that make it easier to stay in your own home, like cooking, paying bills or budgeting.

Accommodation

Supported housing and group homes

These schemes provide furnished housing for those who can live independently but benefit from having access to support workers.

You will need to have a community care assessment to get a place in one of these schemes, and you may have to pay - there is a means test to determine this.

Therapeutic communities

These communities are shared houses where people usually stay for an agreed period of time. House mates have access to a resident therapist and are supported through their rehabilitation.

You will need to have a community care assessment to get a place in a therapeutic community, and you may have to pay - there is a means test to determine this.

Hostels

Hostels provide short-term housing with the aim of encouraging independence while supporting your needs. Workers include nurses, social workers and mental health support workers.

You will need to have a community care assessment to get a place at a hostel, and you may have to pay - there is a means test to determine this.

Care homes

24-hour care can be provided by residential social workers, nurses and mental health support workers. This is for people who need a high level of care and find it hard to manage in their own home, despite other community care schemes.

You will need to have a community care assessment to get a place at a care home, and you may have to pay - there is a means test to determine this.

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