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Mental health

Getting help for mental health can be a scary decision and a big step. It’s good to know you’re not alone and there are lots of organisations and people out there to support you through the process.

There are a few different options on how to get help and support:

  • If you need urgent help please call 999 or visit your local A&E (Accident and Emergency)
  • If you want to read information on mental health or to learn more about mental illnesses, please use the "Information" section on the relevant directory (see below)
  • If you want to speak to someone about your mental health or any problems or worries you may be having, please use the “Helpline” sections of the relevant directory (see below)

A directory of organisations that are able to help those worried about their mental health are available below. The directory has been split into two: Children and adolescents (0-18 years) and Adults (over 18) to ensure you receive the support and help most suited to you.

If you want face-to-face support:

  1. Contact the Single Point of Access (SPA)

    The Single Point of Access (SPA) is available for all ages, for anyone living in Hertfordshire. SPA take referrals for those who need support with mental health and signposts them to the most appropriate services. To call the SPA, call 0300 777 0707, 8am-7pm, Monday- Friday.
    During out-of-hours, Hertfordshire Mental Health Helpline will be able to assist you: 01438 843322, 5pm- 9am weekdays and 24 hours a day weekends and bank holidays

    There are three ways in which you can be referred to the services offered through SPA:

    • Over the phone - when you call the SPA, they will talk you through the process and ask you questions to complete the referral then and there. Your referral will then be looked at and they will get back to you with information and advice on the most appropriate services available.
    • By post or email - if you prefer, when you call the SPA, they can send out a referral form to you by post or email for you to complete and send back. Your referral will then be looked at and someone will get back to with information on how to proceed.
    • Through your GP - GPs can also refer you to the Single Point of Access. Sometimes, contact may need to be made with your GP when you self-refer or you can go directly to your GP.
  2. Speak to your GP or a health professional - your GP will refer you to the Single Point of Access where you will be supported to access the right services for you.
  3. Contact organisations directly - on this page, there are many organisations that can help you face to face. Some need a GP or health professional’s referral but many you can self-refer to. These are shown in the guide.

What happens after referral?

After you’ve called the Single Point of Access (SPA), your referral will be looked at and you will be contacted with advice on the next steps. There are different services available depending on your age and the severity of your mental health assessment. The four services that you can be referred on to are:

  • Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services (CAMHS) - for 0-18 years
  • Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) - for 18- 65 years
  • Mental Health Services for Older People (MHSOP) - for over 65s
  • The Wellbeing Team - addressing low to moderate anxiety, low mood and depression - for anyone over 16

Further information

A more detailed description of each service is listed below.

Expand all

  • Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services: for 0-18 years

    Children and Adolescents Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is the service that provides advice, support and help to children and young people from 0-18 years and their families across Hertfordshire. CAMHS can help with many problems including depression, anxiety, aggression, phobias and obsessive compulsive disorder among others. CAMHS has a tier system to make sure the most suitable services are being used.

    Tier 1: General service for everyone, provided by practitioners who are not mental health specialists working in universal services; for example GPs, health visitors, social workers, teachers. Practitioners offer general advice and treatment for less severe problems, including referral to more specialist services, identifying problems early in their development and promoting and raising awareness of mental health and wellbeing and the importance of a healthy active lifestyle.

    Tier 2: Practitioners at this level tend to be CAMHS specialists who work in community and primary care - for example, psychologists, counsellors and primary mental health workers working in GP practices, schools, paediatric clinics and youth services.

    In this tier, practitioners offer consultation to families and outreach to identify severe and complex needs which may require more specialist interventions and assessment. This tier includes services such as counselling.

    Tier 3: Specialised community services for those with more persistent and complex problems.

    Tier 4: Highly specialised services for those whose problems cannot be managed at Tier 3. May include hospital care or specialist units to help those with the most serious problems

    How can I access this service?

    Access to CMHT services is through a referral from your GP or through self-referral via the Single Point of Access (SPA). Call SPA on 0300 777 0707, 8am-7pm, Monday to Friday.
    During out of hours, call the Hertfordshire Mental Health Helpline on 01438 843322, 5pm- 9am weekdays and 24 hours a day at weekends and on bank holidays.

    For more information on CAMHS:

  • Community Mental Health Team: for 18-65 years

    Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs) provide help and support for those aged 18- 64 years. CMHTs are made up of different mental health professionals and work to help people recover from a mental illness.

    CMHT staff will usually come from health or social backgrounds and include: psychiatrists, social workers, psychologists, occupational therapists, community psychiatric nurses and other CMHT professionals.

    How can I access this service?

    Access to CMHT services is through a referral from your GP or through self-referral via the Single Point of Access (SPA). Call SPA on 0300 777 0707, 8am-7pm, Monday to Friday.
    During out of hours, call the Hertfordshire Mental Health Helpline on 01438 843322, 5pm-9am weekdays and 24 hours a day at weekends and on bank holidays.

    What happens after referral?

    You referral will be looked at and someone will get back to arrange an initial assessment. This assessment is an opportunity to meet members of the team and work together to focus on your needs. The team will then be able to work out the next steps to supporting you.

    Treatment is based on the assessment and your needs and can be:

    • Treatment from home
    • Support from a social worker
    • Psychotherapy
    • Family Therapy
    • Access to Art Therapy
    • Access to hospital admission

    For more information on CMHT:

  • Mental Health Services for Older People - for over 65s

    Mental Health Services for Older People (MHSOP) is the service that provides help and support for those aged over 65. Older people have similar mental health needs to adults of working age but some illnesses are more prevalent in older people, such as dementia. Services are therefore provided in a slightly different way in order to take into account these additional needs and tailor support more effectively.

    All staff in MHSOP teams have specific skills required to best support you. The teams include social care staff and they work closely with other agencies and organisations to ensure older people receive the appropriate care and support.

    How can I access this service?

    Access to CMHT services is through a referral from your GP or through self-referral via the Single Point of Access (SPA). Call SPA on 0300 777 0707, 8am-7pm, Monday to Friday.
    During out of hours, call the Hertfordshire Mental Health Helpline on 01438 843322, 5pm- 9am weekdays and 24 hours a day at weekends and on bank holidays.

    Early Memory Diagnosis and Support Service

    There is also a support service for people who think they may have memory problems. An assessment is provided, and support for those who need it. This service is called the Early Memory Diagnosis and Support Service (EMDASS) and if you feel you have a problem with your memory on a daily basis, contact your GP to arrange an appointment.

    More information

    Read more information on MHSOP

  • The Wellbeing Team

    The Wellbeing Team supports adults aged over 16 and offers psychological therapies and practical support to those experiencing mild to moderate anxiety, depression, and other problems such as stress, low confidence and self-esteem, post-traumatic stress disorder, mild OCD, panic, fear and phobias.

    This service is generally for those with mild to moderate illness, therefore you would be referred to one of the other three services available if your levels of severity or risks are higher.

    There are several ways the Wellbeing Team can help. Psychological wellbeing practitioners and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) therapists both work in this team and can help support you in a number of ways. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a talking therapy that can help you manage your problems by changing the way you think and behave.

    Psychological wellbeing practitioners can:

    • Use a guided self-help approach based on CBT
    • Offer one-to-one telephone appointments (over a six-week period)
    • Offer face-to-face sessions (over a six-week period)
    • Offer computerised CBT (over an eight-week period)
    • CBT skills group for a range of conditions and ages (lasting from five to eight weeks)

    CBT therapists also offer face-to-face sessions (12 sessions).

    Further information

    Read more information on the Wellbeing Team.

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