A checklist for people with mental health problems
Working in partnership with psychiatrists and carers
Questions to ask the psychiatrist
This checklist suggests some questions you may want to ask about your:
may be able to get some of this information from other members of the team who are involved in your care.
Not everyone will need all the answers to all these questions, and not all at the same time. You may have questions that are not covered
in this leaflet. Even so, it should help you decide what you do need to know.
What illness (diagnosis) do I have?
If a diagnosis has been made
What symptoms suggest this diagnosis?
have already been done?
Are there any other tests that might be needed?
Have any physical problems been found, and what will need to be done about them?
Why has this happened to me?
Will I get better?
Where can I get written information about my problem?
If a diagnosis has NOT YET been made
What are the possible diagnoses you are considering?
What tests have already been done?
Are there any other tests that might be needed?
About care and treatment
What are the aims of my care and treatment?
Where can I get written information
about the treatment I will have/am having?
Who will be responsible for my care (named nurse/care co-ordinator/
What exactly will they do? How often will they see me?
Who else will be involved in my treatment?
How often will the psychiatrist see me?
What are the plans for my treatment? Do I have any choice?
How long will the treatment take?
Would talking treatments (e.g. cognitive behavioural therapy, family therapy) of any sort be helpful?
will they be available in my area?
What happens if I refuse to have the suggested treatment?
Are there any ways I can help myself?
Care Programme Approach (CPA)
What is the CPA?
Am I on the CPA? If not, why not
Who is responsible for organising it?
What difference will this make to me?
If I am not satisfied with my treatment and care, who do I speak to?
To make comments
get a second opinion
To make a complaint
How can I get in touch
with you, especially if I am not in hospital?
How can I arrange to see you?
What do I do if I am worried that I am becoming ill?
Who do I contact in an
Are there any local support, self-help or advocacy groups that I could get in touch with?
Carers and my treatment
My carer(s) is/ are …………………………………………………………………………………
Will my carer be involved in discussions concerning my care and treatment?
Does my carer have to be involved in discussions about every detail of my care?
Can I decide that my carer
may know only about some details of my care and treatment?
How can it help to have my carer involved in discussions about me?
Can I refuse to allow my carer to be involved in any of these discussions?
What medication am I on?
should the benefits of medication be?
In the short-term
In the long-term
Managing the medication
Why have you chosen this particular medication?
How long will I have to take it for?
Are there any other medications that could be used if this one does not work?
Is the lowest effective dose being prescribed?
What symptoms would mean the dose should be changed?
Can I take a low dose and increase it when necessary?
Why am I on different types of medication?
How often will my medication be reviewed?
What shall I do if I have unpleasant side-effects?
What will happen if I stop the
Do you have any written information about this medication?
I need to be admitted to hospital? If so, for how long?
If I have to go into hospital, which one will it be?
What arrangements will be made for me after I leave hospital?
What can I do to help myself get better?
How can I contact other people who have been through the same experiences?
Carers Trust is a new charity which was formed by the merger of The Princess Royal Trust for Carers and Crossroads
Care in April 2012. Carers Trust works to improve support, services and recognition for anyone living with the challenges of caring, unpaid, for a family member or friend who is ill, frail, disabled or has mental health or addiction problems. With our Network
Partners, we aim to ensure that information, advice and practical support are available to all carers across the UK.
This leaflet was produced as part of the Partners in Care campaign, a joint initiative between the Royal College of Psychiatrists and
The Princess Royal Trust for Carers. One of the aims of the Partners in Care campaign was to show that if all those involved in the care of people with mental health problems or learning disabilities can work together, a trusting partnership can be development
between carers, patients and professionals which will be of benefit to all.
Editor: Dr Philip Timms, chair, Royal College of Psychiatrists' Public Engagement Editorial Board.
Carer input: Members of the Princess Royal Trust for Carers