Commissioning us - A day in the life of a Mental Health Facilitator
We wanted to find out more about the valuable work of our primary care service, so we asked one of our Mental Health Facilitators to talk us through a typical day in their job.
It is almost impossible to describe a typical day of the Mental Health Facilitator – the role is varied and challenging on a daily basis.
The majority of the patients I see are booked from the Serious Mental Health register for their annual review. This includes a physical health check, however several patients are referred by their GP for a mental health assessment. The time we can spend with a patient can vary depending on the circumstances, but generally appointments are around 45 minutes. This is longer than a typical GP appointment.
If I’m seeing a patient for a mental and physical health check, I will record a range of measurements including their blood pressure, weight, height, BMI, smoking history and diet. I will also take a family history and use this information to complete the relevant mental health assessment tools.
As a Mental Health Facilitator, I take a holistic approach. In appointments we can talk about more than mental health – housing, finances, relationships, employment and physical health are all common conversations. It is my role to signpost patients to relevant services that may be able to help further.
I work closely with the CMHT or CPN to reduce the ‘did not attend’ rate. We discuss the possible root causes and, in some cases, we will arrange a home visit to help make the patient more comfortable. Home visits are one of the positive steps we take to reduce the number of patients who do not attend or have other difficulties in attending appointment at the surgery. These are usually pre-arranged some weeks ahead and risk assessed prior to my visit. These appointments generally take place in the early morning so any relevant tests can be completed and returned to the surgery to be collected.
For some of my clinics, I will only be at a particular GP surgery once a fortnight. This means I have to complete the administration while I’m there. The benefits of our service is that we are integrated into our surgeries’ systems, making it easy to record notes, send appointment letters, or refer to other teams.
I see some patients who have been recently discharged from their CMHT and find it beneficial to engage with their Mental Health Facilitator within their surgery. Some patients have developed a therapeutic relationship with teams that they have engaged with over many years – they can find it difficult to ‘cope alone’ following discharge. These follow-up appointments can be beneficial in several ways – I can monitor their medication and signpost to local social activities, voluntary services and education programmes. In some cases, re-referral to CMHT is needed, and my contact as a Mental Health Facilitator helps with this process.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays