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Mental health

Photo of a smiling woman taking part in an occupational therapy art class

Mental health services offer care, treatment and support for a range of conditions or illnesses affecting our psychological wellbeing.

In some cases, these services are for people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act (MHA) - either by being detained in hospital or through being on a community treatment or guardianship order.

Mental health problems account for almost a quarter of the total burden of illness in this country - more than either cancer or heart disease - and one in four of us will experience at least one such condition in our lives.

Amongst the most common mental health conditions people seek treatment for are depression, anxiety disorders, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and panic attacks.

Our new approach to regulating mental health care services

Last year we set out plans for a new approach to regulating, inspecting and monitoring mental health care services. You can read about our new approach in detail in our provider handbooks.

Types of mental health service

Detained patients

  • Provide care and treatment for people whose rights are restricted under the MHA.
  • Includes the treatment of people detained in a hospital and those on community treatment orders.
  • Also includes hospitals where patients may be detained temporarily.
  • These services are visited by our MHA commissioners.

Community mental health services

  • Provide care for people with mental health needs using a range of approaches.
  • Involve multidisciplinary teams of health and social care professionals.
  • People using the services may receive short-term interventions or long-term support and move between teams.
  • Includes care for people subject to supervised community treatment under the MHA.
  • Includes child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), assertive outreach, early intervention and crisis resolution teams.