Information for the public
Your relationship with health and social care professionals
Health and social care professionals should be easy to identify (for example, they should wear a name badge) and should be friendly and welcoming. They should address you using the name and title you prefer. Professionals should be aware that you may feel nervous about attending mental health services and should make you feel comfortable and at ease. Meetings should take place in private and you should be treated with respect and dignity. Professionals may need to discuss your treatment and care with other professionals sometimes, but this should be discussed with you first.
Professionals should work with you so that you can make decisions about your treatment and care. They should give you leaflets about your mental health problem and its treatment in a language or format you can understand, including any relevant 'information for the public' (www.nice.org.uk/guidance/Topic/MentalHealthBehavioural). They should also give you details of organisations and websites that provide information and support, tell you how to find them, and support you if you use them. Professionals should clearly explain any medical language and check that you fully understand what is being said about your treatment and care.
Professionals should support you to feel optimistic. They should be understanding and not critical of you or your lifestyle. They should also encourage you to manage your own condition, if possible. This may include helping you to recognise warning signs of a worsening of your condition. Ideally once you and a professional have established a good working relationship this should continue throughout your care. Health and social care professionals should be trained in working with people from different cultures.
Professionals should ask how you prefer to be contacted, which may be by letter, phone, email or text message.