'Personally I felt I lost my personality and love for life.' (Paul, Service User)
Reasons to seek help.
It can be hard to know when enough is enough and you should go and seek help for mental health difficulties. Here are some situations which might lead you to consider getting professional help:
· When your mental health difficulties are worse than usual and don't seem to be getting any better.
· When your friends and family say they have noticed a difference in you and are worried about you.
· When your work, your interests, or your feelings towards your family and friends is affected.
· When you just can’t seem to shake your mental health difficulties despite trying your usual self-help strategies.
· When you find yourself feeling that life is not worth living or that other people would be better off without you.
If you feel like this, it may be enough to talk things over with a relative or friend. If this doesn't help, you probably need to contact your GP or your mental health service if you’re already in contact with them. Taking that first step can be difficult. Often, people feel afraid or embarrassed. But it can also be the most positive move you can make.
Click here for advice on what you should do if you are worried about somebody close to you.
What should I do when I need to access a mental health service?
The first thing to do is to contact a GP. They will assess your problem and may either provide medication or monitoring or both. Very often, a GP will be able to help you with mental health issues without having to refer you to a specialist service. If your GP does refer you to your local community mental health team, the team you see will depend on where you live <map>
If contacting a GP is not possible for you, you can also get help from our services through a hospital Emergency Department.
For information on emergency access to mental health services click here.
Referral to the Community Mental Health Services
If you’re aged between 18 and 65 years, the local Community Mental Health Team will provide your service. The first appointment you’ll receive will usually be for the New Patient Clinic.
If you’re over 65 years at the time of referral, the Psychiatry of Later Life Team will provide your service and you’ll receive an appointment for their New Patient Service.
If you are aged under 18 years, the service may be provided by the HSE Local Health Office consultant psychiatrist who specialises in working with under 18s.