In 2021, 4.3 million referrals were made to mental health servies. Such numbers prompted the Royal College of Psychiatrists to urge the government to put together additional policies, to ensure that mental health is prioritised in the UK. In part two of her two-part series on mental health, Sarah Palmer sign-posts community nurses towards relevant services, in cases where they may come across a patient with mental health issues. Furthermore, a case for digitally enabled mental health care is made by the author, as this would let individuals receive help sooner.
In 2021, there were 4.3 million referrals to mental health services (Iacobucci, 2022). This prompted the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP) to urge the government to establish a recovery plan by 2024, in addition to the policy that already aims to improve a broad range of mental health services in the community (RCP, 2023).
It is important that community nurses (CNs) know what help is available for patients. It is not always obvious that there are as many acute and community services available, despite the NHS being under such pressure. The CN must get a referral in progress. Primarily, this starts by having a conversation with the GP. The patient may already be known to mental health services, but would have been deemed stable. Yet, if the CN notices a deterioration, they may be able to directly contact the mental health team and quickly reengage the patient with all the necessary services they are linked to.
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