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Help with mental health problems

If you have a mental health problem that affects your day-to-day life, we can help you.

We work in the local community and generally see people at an outpatient or local team base. If the situation is urgent or travelling to a clinic is difficult, we may see you at home.

See the full range of mental health services provided by Dorset HealthCare.

Help with mild to moderate mental health problems

If you have a mild to moderate mental health problem, such as anxiety or mild depression, we can:

  • work out your social care needs and see if our services are suitable for you  
  • help you set up a direct payment 
  • offer carer assessments 
  • help you into learning or employment 
  • refer you to organisations that can help with housing or benefits 
  • tell you about useful voluntary organisations 
  • put you in touch with support groups 
  • refer you to specialist mental health services.  

Our work with you will not last long. If you end up getting other adult social care services, we meet up with you once a year to talk about how things are going.  

Help with severe mental health problems

Our community mental health teams look after people with severe mental health problems. They:  

  • help you identify personal goals 
  • develop your strengths and skills 
  • help stop your illness from negatively affecting you and your family 
  • prescribe medication, see how effective it is and check for side effects 
  • assess and manage risks help you return to leisure, social and work activities 
  • help you to live at home or to find other options.  

The referral process  

To access most of our mental health services, you will need to be referred to us. You cannot self-refer, except if you’ve been discharged less than 12 months ago and self-referral is part of your discharge or recovery plan.

To obtain a referral to use our services, ask:

  • members of primary care teams
  • local authority staff
  • staff in other specialist mental health services
  • primary care mental health teams (including Steps2Wellbeing)
  • multi-agency public protection agency
  • staff from general (acute) hospitals
  • staff in tier 3 addictions services.

Help without a referral

Read our leaflet on accessing mental health without a referral. This includes information on our round-the-clock helpline, Connection, and The Retreat and Community Front Rooms, both of which provide safe, informal and welcoming places to discuss your mental health problems.

You don’t need to be referred by your GP or another health professional, or even book an appointment - you can just reach out for help when you need it.