Community Mental Health Support for OCD
Local Community Mental Health Teams can offer treatment and support for OCD symptoms. After the initial visit to a GP for help with OCD symptoms, you may be referred to a local Community Mental Health worker or team for specialist mental health support. Most GPs do not have a good enough knowledge and understanding of OCD to be able to offer the levels of support and treatment needed to help OCD sufferers regain control of their lives.
Local Community Mental Health Teams offer a form of support for OCD that is intended to help OCD sufferers retain some degree of normality while living with OCD and its symptoms, as well as offering support and treatment that allows OCD sufferers to overcome the disorder.
What Is a Community Mental Health Team?Lots of different professionals can be involved in a Community Mental Health Team, but some of the most common include:
- Social workers
- Community Mental Health Nurses
- Occupational Therapists
- Community Consultant Psychologists
What Is Involved in Community Mental Health Support?Once you have been referred to a Community Mental Health Team in your local area, you should receive psychological or psychiatric support for OCD. During an initial assessment consultation, a psychologist or psychiatrist should formally diagnose your OCD and suggest the best form of treatment and support for your particular OCD symptoms. Community Mental Health Nurses are often attached to GP surgeries, but they can also be attached to Mental Health Centres and psychiatric units. Some will conduct home visits.
Not all OCD symptoms can be effectively treated with psychological and psychiatric treatments. For example, hoarding is an example of an OCD obsession that does not respond particularly well to psychological treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Many OCD obsessions and compulsions can be treated using psychological treatments.
Once you have been officially diagnosed and advised on treatment and support options, your local Community Mental Health Team will ensure that you receive this support and treatment from a mental health professional (such as a psychologist or psychiatrist).
In addition, they can offer advice emotional support (such as helping you to cope with anxiety) and administer psychiatric drugs. In most cases, they will be in regular contact with your GP so that he or she is updated on your progress. Community Mental Health Nurses are sometimes specially trained in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. If this is the case, they can do this in your own home.
If they feel that it is necessary, your local Community Mental Health Team may refer you to outside services for additional support, such as counselling.
Making the Most of Community Mental Health SupportWhen you first see a member of your local Community Mental Health Team, it is important to be completely open about your OCD symptoms and how they make you feel. If you are not, you may not receive the best treatment and support. Although your OCD symptoms may be difficult to talk about and may seem embarrassing and shameful, mental health workers are very familiar with them and will advise you without judging you.
If you are feeling depressed, suicidal or because of your OCD symptoms, you should raise this as it can have an impact on the type of treatment and support that you are offered.