When things don’t get better

If self-help isn’t helping you to feel any better, you should go to see your GP who may refer you to the specialist Older People’s Mental Health Service. We are specialists in working with older people who are experiencing difficulties with their mental well-being such as anxiety, depression and memory problems and so are able to work with you understand your needs and look at a range of treatments and strategies that will help. Sometimes people we see may have difficulty getting around, and so we can arrange transport to get you to our clinics, or arrange to visit you at home if needed. We can be flexible in our ways of working, and can quickly get other professionals involved if we agree it would be useful.

What support is there for me?

In our service, we have teams of people from different professional backgrounds so the support we offer will be based on what you need. To find out what help and support you need, the person you see from our service will carry out a full assessment with you, your health and current situation.  This usually involves you answering a lot of questions, and telling us what really matters to you and how you think you can improve your life.

If your difficulties are at a fairly mild level, we might work with you in our Primary Care service. This service can offer individual and group sessions, and help you to work out how to make some changes to your life to improve your situation. More serious mental health problems can be a cause of significant distress to you and to your family. In this situation you might be offered more in depth support from our Community Mental Health Team (CMHT). These teams have nurses, psychiatrists, social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists and support workers. We will work with you to plan care which meets your needs, working towards the things which are important to you.

You might have different people working with you for different types of help, for example to prescribe and monitor medication; to help you to understand your difficulties and learn new coping strategies; to agree support with practical difficulties such as housing, help with care or finance; or just to help you enjoy life a little more through doing more of what you enjoy or finding new activities to get involved with. We also work closely with voluntary organisations, such as the Alzheimer’s Society. As a service we aim to support you in your community as much as possible and to help you and your carer to access available resources.

We aim to help you with the challenges of ageing and to see the opportunities for later life as a time of creativity and growth. We will work with you for an agreed period until your needs at met, you feel recovered, and feel able to resume a more independent life.

Is there support for my carer?

As a service we are committed to working with and supporting family carers. This might be in the form of informal conversations and support, or can be through a more formal carer’s assessment. The carer’s assessment covers things like if your carer might need support with finances and benefits, or help around the house, or if they might need to talk to someone about their worries. Carers can also access support through primary care and attend some groups.

Click here to find out more about support for carers.

The page was last updated on 18 June 2014 by andrea.bateman.


Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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