Mental Health and the services provided for it can seem intimidating and overwhelming at times. We’ll always try not to use too much jargon with you, but if you are unsure, here are what some of the key words actually mean.

A talking treatment which can help you to overcome upsetting and unhelpful ways of thinking and behaviour. It helps you to be clearer about these patterns and then helps you to work out your own ways of changing them. CBT always involves doing work in between sessions to develop your skills.

Everyone feels low from time to time, but depression is a constant feeling of low mood lasting weeks and months, rather than days. This feeling often comes along with having no interest in things we usually enjoy, appetite changes and sleep difficulties (sometimes too little, sometimes too much), poor concentration and feeling bad about ourselves. 
For some people, depression may be quite mild and they find they can carry on with daily activities. For others, it can be extremely severe, and they find they can’t get out of bed in the morning, and might be having thoughts of hurting themselves. Our assessments are designed to help us find out what level of depression you are experiencing, so we can offer you the appropriate treatment. That might be with ourselves, or it might be another service: we’ll talk you through the options.

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies is the government scheme to improve access to talking therapies. The aim is to provide more local services and psychological therapists. IAPT services have now been set up across England.

We all have mental health, in the same way we all have physical health. And just like our physical health, our mental wellbeing fluctuates throughout life. Mental illness is a period of time where our mental health is affected to the point it is having an impact on our ability to live our daily lives.

Mental Health Practitioner is a general term for someone who is specially trained in supporting people with their mental health. Mental Health Nurses, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists and Counsellors are some examples of Mental Health Practitioners. In our team, Mental Health Practitioners are made up of Cognitive Behavioural Therapists, Counsellors, and Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners.

A legal organisation providing health and social care services within the NHS. You may have seen that from the first of June 2018, our trust has changed. We have joined with another trust to become Midlands Partnership Foundation Trust (MPFT), so if you see our logos and contact details change, that is why. We are still the same team providing the same service, but you will know longer see South Staffordshire and Shropshire Foundation Trust (SSSFT) when you get in touch.

OCD is a mental health condition that involves both obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviour. Most people tend to think of OCD as an obsession with cleaning, or needing things to be “just so”, but OCD symptoms are far more wide-ranging and often more severe than this.

A service at the Trust which can give telephone help, advice and information about the services we provide. If you would like to contact PALS about any comments, complaints or concerns you have, you can find their information on our trust website: http://www.sssft.nhs.uk/pals

A phobia is an extreme or irrational fear, for example a fear of heights or animals. Phobias are estimated to affect 1 in 40 adults a year. They can be treated with CBT.

If you have experienced a traumatic event, you may develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the days, weeks or months after the incident. Not all traumatic events lead to PTSD, but if you feel you are struggling, we can arrange an assessment to talk about your symptoms and the options available.

The birth of a baby is an emotional experience and, for many new mothers, feeling tearful and depressed is also common. However, sometimes longer periods of depression, known as postnatal depression (PND), can occur during the first few weeks and months of the baby's life. PND can have a variety of physical and emotional symptoms, but it can be treated.

Less well known that PND is postnatal anxiety: a feeling of constantly being hyper-alert, worrying constantly about baby or other things, and sometimes frightening thoughts of hurting baby, even if this is the last thing we would do. These are all are really common symptoms of postnatal mental health illnesses also, and can be treated.

Psychological therapies are also known as 'talking therapies' or 'talking treatments'. They are ways of helping people through talking. There are a huge range of different talking therapies available – we will always recommend the ones that are proven to work the best for your illness. Talking therapies can involve individual or group sessions with a Mental Health Practitioner.

Self harm is when somebody damages or injures their body on purpose. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) describes it as 'self-poisoning, or injury, irrespective of the apparent purpose of the act'.

If you need support with self harm, you can ring us for an assessment, or read our leaflet on self harm here. If you need more urgent support, please call your GP, NHS 111 or the Samaritans on 116 123.

Someone who uses mental health services, or who has done so in the past. Also sometimes referred to as clients or patients.

Any bits of jargon missing here, or anything else you think needs to be included? Let us know via twitter, facebook or our comment box.