Approved social worker (ASW)

A social worker trained in assessing people under the Mental Health Act to see if it is in a person’s best interests to be admitted to hospital or to discuss alternatives and make arrangements for these to be carried out.

Care co-ordinator (key-worker)

An identified person who is responsible for making sure your care plan meets your individual needs.

Community mental health nurse / community psychiatric nurse (CPN) 

A nurse who will visit you at home to monitor your mental health and deliver the care you need.

Consultant psychiatrist

A highly trained doctor who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems. They will carry out an assessment in order to diagnose what problems you may have. They can prescribe relevant medication and help decide on appropriate treatments.


A person trained to listen to your thoughts and feelings and to help you find ways to cope with them.

Modern matron

Modern matrons set and maintain standards of clinical excellence, improving outcomes and experiences for patients, families and carers. They provide line management for ward managers, specialist nurses and other staff and are visible and accessible for patients, families and carers.

Nursing assistant / care assistant

Support the nurses to deliver care either in hospital or at home. They help put care plans into practice, supervise groups and activities and provide support.

Occupational therapist (OT)

A person specially trained to work with people to assess what effect their mental health problem has on their day to day life e.g. hobbies, shopping, education, cooking. The OT will then provide activities to help improve the skills you need each day to allow you to remain as independent as possible.

Probation officer

They supervise people who have committed an offence to make sure they are keeping to the conditions of their court order. They will support you at tribunals and managers meetings to help decide the care and support you need. If you are living at home they help co-ordinate the support you need to stay safe and active in the community.


A person trained to listen to your feelings and help you make sense of them and find possible causes.


A person trained to assess and treat people with mental health problems. They have an understanding of behaviour and how the mind works and use this to help you cope with your thoughts and feelings and help you manage them better.

Registered mental nurse (RMN)

A qualified nurse specialised in caring for people with mental health problems in hospital. They listen to your concerns, administer medication, run group sessions and organise social events and trips, agree your care plan with yourself and other health professionals and they monitor your behaviour and psychological needs in order to encourage you to cope with your mental health problem and achieve your full potential.

Senior house officer (SHO)

A fully trained doctor undertaking further training to become a psychiatrist. They work under supervision of the consultant psychiatrist.

Social worker

One of the main roles of a social worker is to identify your needs. They will pay particular attention to your social needs including housing, welfare benefits and employment opportunities. The social worker will also offer carers an assessment. The aim of this assessment is to identify ways in supporting your carer in their caring role.


They provide support with legal issues and offer advice. They will represent you at tribunals or in case conferences.

Ward manager

The ward manager is responsible for making sure there is high quality, safe and effective care in the inpatient setting. They oversee the day to day running of a ward or unit.