If you are new to your Local Mental Health Team, the first time you meet us will usually be at a New Patient Clinic.
How do I get an appointment?
You can be referred to us by your GP or by an Emergency Department. You may also be referred by another psychiatric service if you are transferring to us from that service.
We will post you out an appointment (occasionally in the case of emergency, or, if there is a last-minute cancellation we may contact you by phone).
How soon will I get seen?
The waiting time for an appointment varies depending on your particular mental health difficulty and the numbers of referrals we receive at a time. We make every effort to see people as promptly as possible.
What should I bring with me?
It can be helpful to bring:
- A list of any medications you’re currently taking (both prescription and over the counter)
- Your Medical Card Number
- Your PPS Number
- Your mobile and landline numbers
- Mobile and landline numbers of your family (or whoever you choose as next of kin).
- Name and address of your GP (if you have one)
Can I bring someone with me?
Bringing a family member or friend can be good for support and to help you provide information.
Who will I see first?
You will see a receptionist who will take some details from you. You will then see one of the Doctors or other team members and then a Consultant or Senior Registrar.
How long will it take?
You should allow roughly 2 hours for your first visit.
What kinds of questions will they ask me?
They will ask you how you’re feeling now, how you’ve been feeling recently and how you came to be referred. They will also ask about:
- Your mental health
- Your background
- Family history
- Current medication
- Your medical history
- Any previous treatment if you’ve had any
Will they examine me?
Some straightforward measurements like blood pressure, weight, height and pulse might be taken.
What else can I do to prepare for my appointment?
Because there's often a lot of ground to cover, if you are able, it's a good idea to do some preparation for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready.
It can be helpful to think about a few things ahead of time and write down some notes to take with you. Things to write down include:
- Your symptoms. Include when they occur and whether anything seems to make them better or worse. Also note how much they affect your day-to-day activities, such as work, education/training or relationships.
- What's causing you stress. Include any major life changes or stressful events you've dealt with recently. Also, write down any traumatic experiences you've had in the past.
- Any health problems you have. Include both physical conditions and mental health issues.
- Treatments you've had in the past (if any), and how well they have worked for you.
- Medications (and if you can remember, past medications)
What happens next?
We’ll discuss your diagnosis and treatment options with you in detail.
We may refer you back to your GP with recommendations for treatment. We may offer you a further appointment. Or we may refer you to another member of the team for further assessment or treatment. We may refer you to another of our services such as our day hospital, home care team, day centre. Or we may refer you for a particular therapy or to one of our programmes.
I want to change my appointment, what should I do?
Contact us as soon as possible. We’ll offer your appointment to another person on the waiting list and give you a new date and time to see us. It is important to cancel the appointment if you are not going to keep it.