Mental health explained

What is mental health?

Mental health means a person's emotional wellbeing, how they think, feel and act. Everyone has mental health and it's just as important as our physical health. We all have times when we feel sad or frightened - mostly these feelings pass, but sometimes they develop into something more serious. This can happen to anyone. Often, people feel uncomfortable about discussing their mental health, but it's ok to say how you're feeling.

What is CAMHS?

CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. CAMHS provides specialist treatment and support for children and young people who have emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties that could be impacting their life in various ways e.g. sleep problems, violent / angry behaviour, obsessions, low-mood or hurting themselves.

Referral Process: A person can be referred to CAMHS by their GP, school or other professionals. You can find out more by visiting the Healthy Surrey website, or our Mindsight Surrey CAMHS website.

What is a CMHRS and how do they help?

A Community Mental Health Recovery Service (CMHRS) provides specialist treatment and support for people who have serious and / or complex mental health problems.

Someone will be referred to a CMHRS when a mental health problem is affecting their ability to keep themselves or others safe, affecting their ability to work, go out and see friends. They also support their carers / family.

Referral Process: People can be referred to a CMHRS team by their GP. Once we have read the information the GP sends us we speak to the person about their needs and decide whether we are the right service to help. People may be allocated a care co-ordinator or they may see a psychiatrist.

What is IAPT?

IAPT stands for Improving Access to Psychological Therapies. This service provides help and support to people over 18 years who are experiencing mild to moderate mental ill-health. This can include stress, low mood, anxiety, panic attacks, depression (including pre and post natal), obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias, post traumatic stress and eating difficulties (not severe).

A range of treatments are available, dependent on a person's needs. These treatments include workshops / courses, group therapy, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, guided self help and individual therapy.

Referral Process: A person can refer themselves to an IAPT service, or they can be referred by their GP. The IAPT service for people in Surrey is called Mind Matters Surrey.

What is recovery?

When we talk about recovery in mental health we are not necessarily referring to a complete recovery in the way you may recover from a physical health problem.

“There is no single definition of the concept of recovery for people with mental health problems, but the guiding principle is hope -€“ the belief that it is possible for someone to regain a meaningful life, despite serious mental illness.”

More information about recovery is available from the Mental Health Foundation or our Recovery College.