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Integrated Mental Health Services in Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly


You can read this Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing leaflet on this page, or you can download it in pdf format here: Integrated mental health services



One in four people will experience mental health problems at some time in their life. This means different things to different people. They may appear as an exaggeration of our usual emotions or behaviour, resulting in stress, anxiety or depression.

Sometimes, though, these problems become severe and/or enduring, and occur to such an extent that they make it very difficult for a person to cope with everyday life.

This leaflet explains who to contact if you feel you need help with a mental health problem.

Common mental health problems can take many forms. Here is a brief guide.

Stress is the way you feel when pressure is placed on you. A little bit of pressure can be productive, give you motivation, and help you to perform better. However, too much pressure or prolonged pressure can lead to stress, which is unhealthy for the mind and body.

Everyone reacts differently to stress, and some people may have a higher threshold than others. Too much stress can lead to physical, mental or emotional problems.

Depression is a common condition. Sometimes there is a trigger for depression. Life-changing events, such as bereavement, having a baby, or losing your job, can all cause depression. But you can also become depressed for no obvious reason.

Symptoms include lasting feelings of sadness, losing interest in the things you used to enjoy, feeling constantly tired, having difficulty getting to sleep, loss of appetite and feeling life is not worth living.

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Everyone experiences feelings of anxiety at some point in their life. For example, you may feel worried and anxious about sitting an exam, or having a medical test or job interview.

There are several conditions for which anxiety is the main symptom. Panic disorder, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder can all cause anxiety.

Obsessive compulsive disorder is a chronic mental health condition that is usually associated with both obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour.

An obsession is an unwanted thought, image or urge that repeatedly enters a person’s mind. A compulsion is a repetitive behaviour that a person feels compelled to perform.

OCD is one of the most common mental health conditions, and the symptoms can range from mild to severe. Some people with OCD will spend around an hour a day engaged in obsessive compulsive thinking and behaviour, while for others, the symptoms completely dominate their life.

Unlike other types of compulsive behaviour, such as an addiction to drugs or gambling, a person with OCD gets no pleasure from their compulsive behaviour. They feel that they need to carry out their compulsion to prevent their obsession becoming true.

Outlook South West provides help and advice for these conditions, as well as a range of other common mental health problems.

It is a free NHS service for residents of Cornwall, which can be accessed either by a self-referral or by a referral from your GP. Contact details are:

2D Restormel Estate

Tel: 01208 871 414
Web: Outlook South West.

Outlook South West offers a range of different approaches for different types of problems. Some people are offered information, advice and practical suggestions for ways of helping themselves. Other people may be offered the choice of seeing a psychological therapist for a number of appointments.

The available options, and your own choices, will be discussed with you in the first appointment. Generally first appointments last between 30 and 45 minutes.

Mostly, appointments are offered during office hours at your doctor’s surgery, although they do have alternative options for people who are unable to attend normal daytime appointments.

If you have severe and enduring mental health conditions, you may be referred to the CFT for assessment and treatment.

Within the CFT, your local Community Mental Health Team (CMHT) should be your first point of contact.

A CMHT consists of a group of mental health professionals who work together to provide specialist mental health services to people living in a particular area.

There are 12 CMHTs in Cornwall, and each team usually includes:

  • community mental health nurses (also known as community psychiatric nurses or CPNs);
  • occupational therapists
  • psychiatrists
  • clinical psychologists
  • social workers and
  • support workers (such as community care assistants).

Referral to a CMHT is via a GP, social worker, or you can contact them yourself, or on behalf of a family member.

To find out which team covers the area in which you live, please contact Bodmin Hospital switchboard on 01208 251 300, and ask for your local Community Mental Health Team. Opening hours are 8.45am–5.15pm (Monday to Friday).

Out of office hours

Out of office hours, mental health services can be contacted by calling:

  • North Cornwall, Caradon and Restormel areas - 0845 230 3901
  • Carrick, Kerrier and Penwith areas - 0845 230 3902

When you are first referred to the CFT, you will receive an initial assessment which will determine whether you require help from the service. You may require help from another organisation, in which case the person assessing you will let you know, and tell you how to access that help.

CMHT services are for adults, aged 18–75, experiencing a severe mental health condition. They provide one-to-one support which may take place in the patient’s home, or in a community setting. Referrals to other appropriate services may also be made, such as to a day centre or housing service.

Support may be provided on a short-term or long-term basis, depending on individual need. All teams have access to beds at one of the CFT in-patient units, and provide a multi-disciplinary service that allows people to be looked after in their own homes wherever possible.

They often work with other voluntary and statutory organisations to make sure that your assessed health and social care needs are met. These organisations include Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing, befriending schemes, and housing associations.

A carer can be anyone who provides regular care to you, and is not paid for doing so. They may be a relative, friend, or important person in your life.

If you are a carer, then you will be entitled to an assessment of your needs.

The assessment process may show that you have needs which should be met, so that you can continue in your caring role.

Carers are entitled to their own care plan which details how, when and by whom their assessed needs will be met. A carer’s care plan should be reviewed yearly.

The assessment will be carried out by Adult Care, Health and Wellbeing. You can contact them on  0300 1234 131.

There is also support for carers of people with severe and enduring mental ill-health from the Carers Support Worker Project, which is part of a registered charity (Cornwall Community Volunteer Services) and is jointly funded by NHS Cornwall & Isles of Scilly and Cornwall Council.

The aim of this service is to ensure that carers of people with severe and enduring mental ill health are receiving all the help and support they need in their caring role. The Carers Support Worker will listen to your views on your caring situation and establish the most appropriate information, services and support to meet your identified needs.

When you contact the Carers Support Worker Project, they will ask you for the following information:

  • General details, such as address and telephone number.
  • How long you have been a carer, the condition of the person you care for, and your caring commitments.
  • Additional commitments that you may have, such as family or a job.
  • Help you are already receiving, including benefits.
  • Any other information you feel would help in establishing what advice, information and support meets your personal needs.

For more details on the Carers Support Worker Project, you can call 01209 613 456. The Carers Support Worker telephone number has an answerphone and all messages left out of normal office hours (9am–5pm, Monday to Friday) will be dealt with on the next working day.

There is no charge for this service.

Direct payments are cash payments to meet eligible social care needs. They allow service users, and their carers, to arrange and purchase the care and support required to meet their assessed needs. They provide more flexibility and choice about the style of care and support a person prefers.

People can choose to employ personal assistants (PAs) directly, using their direct payments, or they can purchase support from a registered service provider, such as a home care agency. If you require further information, or you want to discuss the option of direct payments, please contact the Direct Payments Team on 01872 322 559, or email: ssd.directpayments@cornwall.gov.uk.

Please also look at our information about personal budgets.

All mental health services in this leaflet are available to everyone, regardless of your background or circumstances.

There is also a Community Development Worker (CDW) service for black and minority ethnic communities in Cornwall.

The role of the CDWs involves working with individuals, families, carers and communities by:

  • Raising awareness of emotional well-being.
  • Helping to remove language and other barriers.
  • Making sure services understand what people want.
  • Ensuring there is more training in black and minority ethnic issues for mental health staff.
  • Offering general support and advice.

This service is for any person in Cornwall from a black or minority ethnic community, or their carer. This includes gypsies, travellers and migrant workers.

To access this service, please contact the community development workers at:

Pentreath Industries
St Enoder Barns
Glebe Farm
Narrow Lane
Newquay, TR8 5EE

Tel: 01726 862 727
Email: pentreath@pentreath.co.uk

There is no charge for this service, as it is jointly funded by NHS Cornwall and Isles of Scilly and Cornwall Council.

The information you share with any of these mental health organisations will be treated in confidence.

However, Outlook South West and Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT) will give your GP a brief summary of their work − you are welcome to see this. If you prefer your therapist not to tell your GP, please let them know.

Please bear in mind, however, that therapists have a duty of care. This means that if they have serious concerns about any risk to you or others, they will need to tell your GP.

Similarly there are very rare occasions when the CFT is legally required to disclose information without your consent, for example:

  • to the police or courts in serious legal or criminal matters; or
  • to avoid serious harm to yourself or other people.

The Carers Support Service is signed up to protection of vulnerable adults procedures and the county child protection procedures, which in rare cases, may lead to a breach of confidentiality in the interest of all concerned.

Feedback from service users and carers helps mental health organisations to improve their services.

If you have a specific concern about any of the services you are receiving, it is best initially to discuss this with the staff working with you. To raise a concern with the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CFT), you can contact the Customer Support Team by calling:

  • 01726 291 109
  • 01726 291 018
  • 01726 291 034

To find information and contact details for mental health services available in Cornwall, please have a look at the Cornwall Community Directory.

Return to Mental health.

Adult social care

0300 1234 131