You will be contacted and invited to make an appointment at a time and place that is most convenient to you. We aim to see people within two weeks of receving their referral. Your initial assessment is likely to take place in one of our Health and Wellbeing Clinics in Exeter, Torbay, or Barnstaple.
Your assessment appointment will be with one of our senior mental health practitioners, who will be a mental health nurse, social worker or occupational therapist. They will speak with you about your mental and physical health history, thoughts and feelings, life experiences, lifestyle, goals, medicines and substance use. You may be offered a routine physical health check. When you have spoken with the mental health practitioner, they will discuss your case with their colleagues, the multi-disciplinary team. A psychiatrist may also want to see you at the end of your assessment or, if a review of your medication would be helpful, a prescribing clinician.
The assessment is intended to identify and understand the state of your mental health and how this influences your ability to achieve the goals that you have. This is often a helpful process for the person being assessed as well as the assessor. The assessment will also try to find out if there are any helpful next steps that can be taken, whether these are within specialist mental health services, with another organisation or for you to take in your life.
The conversation you have with your assessor, and any other clinician, will be summarised and sent to you as a letter. This letter will also be copied to your General Practitioner (GP) and the person who referred you. Where possible, your assessor will let you know of any other services they will refer you to or any that you can contact yourself. If your assessor has not been able to tell you on the day of your assessment they will include this information in this letter.
You will usually have one assessment appointment. Sometimes, it is helpful to continue the assessment to get a better understanding of the issues and what may help. If this is the case, you will be invited back for another assessment appointment.
People who present with difficulties related to their mental health will usually have this collection of difficulties summarised as a diagnosis. The diagnosis helps to work out what care and treatment may be helpful to support your recovery.