Getting Support

In support of their recovery, people with a mental illness and their carers can access support from health professionals to maintain and improve their physical health.

Care and Treatment Plan / Carer’s Assessment:
Goals which service users and carers can set themselves include:-

● Registering with a GP
● Making an appointment with their GP to discuss their physical health
● Preparing for their GP appointment by making a list of the things they want to discuss such as stopping smoking, exercise and the management of physical conditions
● Discussing the effectiveness, side-effects and management issues of medications for mental illness with their doctor or pharmacist and exercising choice in the decision about their medication
● Attending a Well Person clinic at their local GP surgery – this health ‘MOT’ will usually include key checks such as a weight check, blood pressure test, cholesterol test and a urine
sample test to look for kidney disease or diabetes
● Registering to make an appointment with a dentist/optician
● Joining a stop-smoking support group
● Getting support to reduce alcohol/drug intake
● Getting advice on sexual health.

Supporters could include:-

● GP and Practice Nurse
● Dentist
● Optician
● Alcohol and drug (substance misuse) services
● Stop Smoking Wales
● Health promotion service
● Family member and/or other carer
● Care Coordinator.

Best practice examples in mental health services:-

● A mental health project in Conwy invited a local optician to visit the project and provide eye checks
● A service in Newport worked with local GP surgeries to arrange for service users and carers to attend well man and well woman clinics
● Service users in Colwyn Bay invited a smoking cessation officer to a local project to provide information and advice
● A mental health project in Carmarthenshire invited a pharmacist to talk to service users and carers about the physical health side-effects of anti-psychotic medications
● “Cynllun Codi Calon” is a joint initiative between Hergest unit and Gwynedd local health board which provides people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia/bipolar disorder/schizoaffective disorder with a physical health check and consultation in local venues – for more info please ring Specialist Nurse Dawn B. Williams on 01248 384073/DawnB.Williams@wales.nhs.uk.

Follow these links for more information:

DIRECTORY

Points you to your nearest GP, dentist, optician or pharmacist

GETTING THE BEST OUT OF YOUR GP

A simple guide to getting the most out of your GP appointment from Diverse Cymru

ALCOHOL SUPPORT & INFORMATION

Advice on cutting down your alcohol intake

DRUG & ALCOHOL ADVICE

Drug and alcohol advice and support helpline 

MENTAL HEALTH WALES

Advice on the physical health goals you can include in your Care and Treatment Plan