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Community mental health teams for adults from 18 to 64 and over

If you think you need a referral to the Community mental health team (CMHT), first talk to your GP and they’ll contact us directly if we’re needed.

Each CMHT for people aged from 18 to 64 is located in the the heart of the community they serve in order to make it accessible and to allow for rapid response and continuity of service provision and care.

Our teams cover Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole areas.

Aims of the service

The team provides a needs-led community mental health service for people with a severe and enduring mental health condition. This service:

  • gives advice on the management of mental health problems 
  • provides a seamless and integrated service so that you and carers receive flexible, holistic and responsive care 
  • provides treatment and care for those with more complex and enduring needs through focusing on individual needs 
  • eliminates any inequalities/differential outcomes experienced as a result of race, disability, gender, age, religious belief or faith or sexual orientation 
  • promotes social inclusion and recovery for all 
  • delivers choice throughout your care pathway, including accessing primary care services, secondary care assessment, treatment and care and inpatient care 
  • improves joint working between health and social care services.

Who we can help

Team members will mainly, but not exclusively, focus on those who have a severe and enduring mental health condition. This will be determined through the assessment of risk and other medical/social factors identified within the Assessment and Care Planning Guidance.

Eligibility for a service from the community mental health team is determined by both diagnosis and acceptance criteria.


The broad diagnostic categories of people to be served by community mental health teams are:

  • schizophrenia and psychotic disorders
  • affective disorders such as mania, manic depression and moderate/severe depression, especially where recurrent
  • eating disorders
  • severe mental health problems following childbirth 
  • severe neurotic, stress related and somatoform disorder, like severe phobias, anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder which have not responded to appropriate treatment in primary care
  • severe personality disorder co-existing with the above and/or personality disorder that causes significant distress to the patient and where they may benefit from specialist involvement.


Individuals within these diagnostic groups will have high priority for acceptance on to caseloads where one or more of the following criteria exist.

Risk factors can be:

  • current or recent moderate/high risk of intentional self-harm 
  • failure to comply with treatment when this is judged to be necessary for improvement or at least maintenance of mental health 
  • moderate/high risk to others 
  • risk of harm to carers due to the stress of the caring role 
  • putting self at risk, for example, self-neglect 
  • risk of abuse by others, for example physical, sexual, emotional or financial 
  • co-existing alcohol or substance misuse (dual diagnosis) 
  • frequent crises in recent past, leading to an increase in treatment 
  • impaired ability to function effectively in the community without significant support from multiple agencies, including health 
  • a longstanding need for care in undertaking activities of daily living 
  • behavioural disturbance which may lead to breakdown of current social situation.

Duration of mental illness is not a necessary criterion for inclusion.

Where individuals have a severe mental illness and a substance misuse problem, they will be the responsibility of the community mental health team.

What services are available

The mental health services provide assessment, treatment and care for adults of working age who require specialist mental health services.

Those who require a more intensive service from the community mental health team will be allocated a care coordinator who will agree a care plan with you. The care or treatment will be based upon the outcomes of the assessment and identified needs and will always aim to enable you to increase your opportunities to be socially included, develop your independence and recover from the effect of your mental health problems. For those who do not need as much support, a lead professional will be allocated to develop a care plan with you.

Care and services are provided to clients who are subject to the provisions of the Mental Health Act (1983), including implementation of the Mental Health Act and Capacity Act.

Our integrated team for adults aged between and 18 and 64 is staffed by health and social care professionals. Team members include various grades of doctors (including consultant psychiatrists), social workers, support time and recovery workers, mental health carers officer, community mental health nurses, support administrative staff, occupational therapist and psychologists.


We do not charge you for our services. However, you may have to pay for some other social care services you get. How much you pay will depend on your financial situation.