What are crisis and intensive home treatment teams?
Crisis and intensive home treatment team provide specialist assessment for people who need urgent mental health care. They assess and identify needs, including mental health, physical health, social care, any risks, strengths and hopes for recovery.
Teams often include a range of professionals such as nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists, social workers, support workers, doctors and trainee staff. Once they have assessed a person’s mental health needs they will work with them to plan the next steps of their recovery. This may include a referral to another service or a period of intensive home treatment.
Intensive home treatment may include:
- psychological wellbeing / talking therapies
- information sharing
- staying well planning and self-management with an emphasis on recovery
- accessing other services to assist with health promotion.
Collaboration is essential to recovery focused care planning, therefore service users and their carers or family members are as important in this process as the mental health team that supports individuals. Personal goals should be their main priority.
This assessment helps the crisis team to understand the factors involved in a mental health crisis. They will ask about current health, including physical wellbeing and any sources of stress a person may be experiencing. The person experiencing a crisis should be encouraged to share any previous experiences that have been beneficial or any existing care they are receiving from mental health services. The assessment time can vary and the person should be given plenty of time to tell the assessor about their problems.
The place/venue for the assessment should be agreed with the person prior to the assessment. Family, carers or supporters should be encouraged to be involved in the assessment.
Some people recover quicker and with a greater sense of independence at home rather than being admitted to hospital, and as such crisis teams will always try to deliver intensive mental health care in the community.
Intensive home treatment
This treatment is an alternative to hospital admission and is delivered in the community. Crisis teams can provide psychological wellbeing/ talking therapies and medical (medicine) treatments for a range of mental health difficulties. Professionals can come to see people several times a day and will gradually reduce involvement once the mental health crisis begins to resolve. Care should be reviewed every day and people may be introduced to more than one health care team member to help their recovery. Sometimes people may need additional mental health care. If this is the case, the crisis team staff will talk to you about this and agree the next steps.
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