Geyti C, Christensen KS, Dalsgaard E Factors associated with non-initiation of mental healthcare after detection of poor mental health at a scheduled health check: a cohort study. BMJ Open. 2020; 10

Iacobucci G England saw record 4.3 million referrals to mental health services in 2021. BMJ. 2022; 376

Royal College of Psychiatrists. Mental health services and teams in the community. 2023.

Trenoweth S, Warren ALondon: Learning Matters; 2022

Mental health in the community: part two

02 July 2023
Volume 28 · Issue 7


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.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting Community Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for district and community nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • New content and clinical newsletter updates each month