NHS mental health trust

An NHS Mental Health Trust provides health and social care services for people with mental health problems in England.[1] They are one kind of NHS trust, the regional organisations that together form the National Health Service.

There are currently 60 mental health trusts. They are commissioned and funded by NHS primary care trusts (some of the larger primary care trusts may provide many of the mental health services themselves).

Patients usually access the services of mental health trusts through their GP (primary care medical doctor) or via a stay in hospital. Most of the services are for people who live in the region, although there may be specialist services for the whole of the UK. Mental Health Trusts may or may not provide inpatient psychiatric hospital services themselves (they may form part of a general hospital run by an NHS Hospital Trust). The various trusts work together and with local authorities and voluntary organisations to provide care.

Services provided by Mental health trusts vary but typically include:[2]

  • Counselling sessions - one-to-one or in a group.
  • Courses - such as on how to deal with stress, anger, and bereavement.
  • Resources - such as leaflets and books on mental health issues
  • Psychotherapy - treatment sessions with a therapist. Commonly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
  • Family support - providing support to the family, friends, and carers of those with a mental health problem.
  • Community drug and alcohol clinics - helping people to cope with addiction.
  • Community mental health houses - supported housing to help people live in the community.
  • Day hospitals and day centres - short-term outpatient sessions with a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist or other mental health professional, and drop-in centres for peer support and therapeutic activities.

If more specialist hospital treatment is required, Mental Health Trusts will help with rehabilitation back into the community. Trusts may operate community mental health teams, which may include Crisis Resolution and Home Treatment, assertive outreach and early intervention services.

The Mental Health Act 1983 and Mental Health Act 2007 cover the rights, assessment and treatment of people diagnosed with a mental disorder who are judged as requiring to be detained ("sectioned") or treated against their will. A Mental Health Trust will typically have a Mental Health Act team responsible for ensuring that the Act is administered correctly, including to protect the rights of inpatients, or of service users in the community who may now be under Community treatment orders. The Care Quality Commission is the body with overall national responsibility for inspecting and regulating the operation of the mental health act by the regional trusts.

List of MHTs

These are the mental health trusts in the NHS in England[3] (note that many have NHS Foundation Trust status - a type of trust that has more independence from government):

See also


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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