Sometimes the terminology and language used in mental health can be confusing to anyone who isn’t a trained mental health professional. To help with this we have pulled together a Mental Health Jargon Buster of some of the most commonly used terms and abbreviations mental health professionals use, but if you come across one we haven’t included here get in touch with us via email or social media and we’ll do our best to help.
Advocate - This is someone who offers impartial advice and help to support a service user or carer through their contact with health services
Allied Health Professionals - A range of health professionals that includes physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dieticians, art therapists, and speech and language therapists.
ASC - Autistic Spectrum Condition
Assertive Outreach Team (AOT) - Assertive outreach refers to a way of delivering treatment. The Assertive Outreach Team actively takes their service to people instead of people coming to the team. They can offer care and support at times suited to the service user either in the service user’s own home or in another community setting.
Assessment - When someone is unwell, health care professionals meet with the person to talk to them and find out more about their symptoms so they can make a diagnosis and plan treatments that will be suitable to the individual’s needs. This is called an assessment.
Care Pathway - The route someone who is unwell follows through health services. The care pathway begins when someone first contacts health services – through their GP or an accident and emergency department, for example. The path then continues through to diagnosis, treatment, and care.
Care Plan - Care Plans are drawn up by mental health professionals when they first start offering someone unwell their support, after an initial assessment has been made as to what someone’s needs are and what is the best package of help they can offer. People should be given a copy of their care plan and it should be reviewed regularly. Service users, and their families and carers, can be involved in the discussion of what the right care plan is.
CPA (Care Programme Approach) - This is a way of assessing both the health and social care needs of people with mental health problems. The CPA aids in putting together a care plan that will ensure people get the full help and support needed in order to recover.
CQC (Care Quality Commission) - The CQC is the regulatory body for the Healthcare Industry to ensure hospitals, doctors, dentists etc. operate within set industry regulations.
Challenging Behaviour - Behaviour that puts the safety of the person or other people at risk, or behaviour that has a significant impact on the person or other people’s quality of life.
CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) - CAMHS provide individual and family work helping children and young people under the age of 18 who experience emotional difficulties or mental health problems.
CMHT - Community Mental Health Team.
Clinical Governance - A system of procedures through which NHS organisations are accountable for improving quality and safeguarding high standards to ensure all patients receive the highest possible quality of care.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) - Is a way of helping people cope with stress and emotional difficulties through encouraging them to make the connections between how we think, how we feel, and how we behave.
Commissioning - The process by which commissioners decide which services to purchase for the local community and which provider to purchase them from.
Forensic Services - A service that provides support to offenders with mental health problems.
Formal Patient - Someone who has been detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act (1983).
LD - Learning Disabilities.
Low Secure Mental Health Services - This is an intensive rehabilitation services for offenders who have mental health problems.
MH - Mental Health.
MHA - Mental Health Act (1983) - The Mental Health Act is a law that allows the compulsory detention of people in hospital for assessment and treatment of a mental illness for their own safety or the safety of others.
MDT (Multi-Disciplinary Team) - A team made up of a both health and social care workers combining their skills to help people.
OT - Occupational Therapist/Therapy.
RMN - Registered Mental Health Nurse.
RNMH - Registered Nurse in Mental Handicap.
Sectioning - If someone is sectioned it means they have been compulsorily admitted to hospital.
Service User - Someone who uses health services. Service Users can also be called Patients or Clients.
Statement of Purpose (SOP) - This is a document that outlines to a service user, their family or their care team exactly what they can expect from a hospital and how it operates including procedures, organisational structure, treatment plans and the complaints procedure.
Service User Guide (SUG) - This document is given to all service users on admission and outlines to them what is expected from them as patients and what they can expect from the hospital caring from them.