Struggling with your mental health? - Anxious, low mood, feeling like you can’t cope?
Mental health problems can be tricky to understand in short appointments. If you are not in crisis; looking for medication; or need a sick note; a Psychological Health Practitioner (PHP) is your best point of contact.
Psychological Health Practitioners (PHPs) are NHS mental health workers based in most GP Practices across Gwent. They can take time with you to discuss and agree options that best suit your needs.
Question: Are PHPs able to start therapy with me?
PHPs are not Counsellors. They are experienced and knowledgeable practitioners, who are skilled at understanding common mental health issues and the different options available to help. These could include offering information; directing people to things they can learn about and do themselves; or referring into other services.
PHPs are supervised by a team of accredited therapists. Your assessment may be discussed with them, to ensure that your plan is as strong as it can be.
Question: Will my appointment be in person or over the telephone?
PHPs prefer to offer face-to-face appointments in GP Practices, however this is not always possible. In this case, the PHP will arrange a telephone call. If the PHP calls you from the Practice phone, you need to be aware that all calls in to/out of GP surgeries are recorded in accordance with Welsh Government guidance (If you do not wish for your call to the PHP to be recorded, you can ask for a video consultation, or for them to call on their work mobile phone). Our PHPs will usually call within a 5 min of your appointment time, so you don’t need to hang around waiting for the call. Please make sure you are in a place where you can talk openly about your mental health.
Question: How often will I see the PHP?
Most often people only have one appointment with a PHP. Sometimes follow-up appointments are needed to clarify the plan, or understand the situation more fully. In these instances, they will have received some input from the PHP Supervisor who may also be offering some suggestions, or guidance.
An option to return to consider a new plan is offered, if an agreed plan doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean that the original plan was a bad one, it might just not have been right at that time and something else can be thought of together (or, with discussion with the PHP supervisor).
Question: What happens to the information shared in my appointment?
PHPs make notes in appointments, so that there is a record of the concerns raised and decisions made. This ensures our standards are maintained. The notes are kept securely on the ABUHB patient management system and a summary is added to GP notes. Appointment notes can be accessed by making a ‘subject access request’ (SAR) via the ‘useful information’ section on this Health Board web page: Information Governance - Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (nhs.wales)
Question: How do I let the PHP service know if it was a good or bad experience?
The PHP service is very keen to learn about how they can deliver the best possible service. Following an appointment, a link to a feedback/contact form will be sent by the PHP. If you don’t receive this, you could use link, or QR code (scan using your phone’s camera), below.
The forms are regularly reviewed and the information received helps shape the service being delivered. Positive feedback is forwarded to the PHPs.