CMHT – Community Mental Health Team. First port of call for referrals into the mental health system.

CPN – Community Psychiatric Nurse. Often also called a 'care-coordinator', though this might be a social worker or other member of the team instead.

Crisis Team / Home Treatment Team – Crisis Teams are basically there to provide an alternative to hospital admission. They also gatekeep the few psychiatric beds there are. In principle this means they visit people at home rather than the person needing to be in hospital. In practice it seems to mean they either decide to admit you to hospital or treat you as a complete waste of time and do nothing. The Crisis Team are usually the people who will conduct an emergency psychiatric assessment if you go to A&E or are held under a police section.

Section 136 – Referred to in this blog as a 'police section'. Section 136 of the Mental Health Act (1983) gives police officers the power to remove an individual from a public place to a 'place of safety' for up to 72 hours for the purpose of getting them a psychiatric assessment.  

Sections 2-5 of the Mental Health Act cover what might be called 'hospital sections'. These are applied by doctors and other professionals, and are used when it is felt an individual requires compulsory admittance to hospital. This is usually what people mean when they talk of someone 'being sectioned'.

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