Resources: Glossary

We have compiled a list of key terms and abbreviations used in mental health information and services. We hope they help:

Community Mental Health Teams (CMHT) - work with individuals experiencing mental health problems such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. There are 4 teams in Edinburgh, one for each locality. The teams provide a variety of interventions, care and treatments and can work with you for as long as required to meet your needs. Access into these teams comes by referral from a GP or a Psychiatrist.

Community Mental Health Teams for Older People - work with people over the age of 65 years who experience a range of mental health problems including depression, schizophrenia and dementia. There is a North Edinburgh team and a South Edinburgh team. Access to these teams is by a GP referral or a Psychiatrist.

Forensic Mental Health Services (FMHS) - specialise in the assessment and treatment of people with mental disorders involved with legal or court proceedings, or who have offended. They are not part of the prison service. Your relative’s mental disorder may be assessed as being a factor contributing to their offending behaviour. Therefore the ethos of services is one of care and treatment which manages any identified risk, rather than punishment and containment.

Dementia Care Co-ordinators - see people of all ages with dementia, not just those over the age of 65 years. They can provide carers with information about dementia and services available for themselves and the person they care for.

Integrated Care Pathways (ICP’s) - for mental health services provide staff and service users with clear pathways to follow from referral into the service, through to discharge. An ICP will state what a person can expect with regards to assessment, treatment and review of care as laid down by the Scottish Government. ICPs go together with Matched/ Stepped Care which is about matching a person’s level of care to their needs. It includes things like: lifestyle advice and information, self-help materials, book prescribing/ recommended reading, exercise referral scheme and guided self-help.

A Care Plan/Carenap (CPA) - will set out how a person’s care will be delivered and by whom. This will be reviewed regularly (usually annually) and changes made as needed. If you provide care, you should be included in this care plan. As a carer, you should be invited to give your views on the care needs of the person you support, whether or not consent is given for the details of the Care Plan to be shared with you.

Community Health Partnerships - are organisations set up across Lothian to provide a wide range of community based health services delivered in the community – in the home, health centres and clinics.

Psychiatrists - are doctors who are specialise in mental health. They will assess and make a diagnosis and decide on treatment including medication.

Responsible Medical Officers (RMOs) - are doctors (normally consultant psychiatrists) responsible for the treatment of a person being treated under the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003.

Psychologists -  have knowledge and training in thought, emotions and behaviour and can deliver a range of therapies often called ‘talking therapies’.

Nurse Therapists - provide therapeutic support individually and in groups. They can also provide Behavioural Family Therapy to support families with things like coping skills.

Psychiatric nurses/Mental Health Nurses - are nurses with specialist mental health training who will administer and support management of medication and provide care for people with mental health difficulties.

Mental Health Officers (MHOs) - are specially trained social workers who support people with mental health problems who sometimes have difficulty in recognising that they might benefit from treatment. MHOs tell people affected by mental health law about their rights and make sure people get the care they need. This includes helping people to access an independent advocate.

Self Directed Support - Self Directed Support through direct payments and other options offered by Councils, can offer a flexible way of arranging respite and support. There are now four options which should be offered by Councils. For assistance with respite or other social care needs, contact 0131 200 2324 or email for information or to apply.

Social Workers - will carry out a needs assessment for service users and carers on all areas of an individual’s life, ie housing, benefits, respite. They can help you with information on carers allowance, direct payments, and disability living allowance.

Occupational Therapists - help people to overcome physical and psychological barriers by learning new skills to support independent living and health.

Advocates/Advocacy Workers - support a person to represent their own interest or represent their views for them if they are unable to do so. They provide support on specific issues and provide information. They do not work for NHS or other services.

Appropriate Adult - is an independent person with specialist training who is present during a police interview to support and assist a person with a mental health difficulty. Their role is to make sure that, as far as possible, the person understands the questions the Police may ask, and is able to respond.