MENTAL HEALTH TEAM OR MULTIDISCIPLINARY TEAM
Multidisciplinary approach refers to collaboration between members of different disciplines who provide specific services to the patient.
The multidisciplinary team includes:
- A psychiatrist
- A psychiatric nurse
- A clinical psychologist
- A psychiatric social worker
- An occupational therapist or an activity therapist
- A pharmacist and a dietician
- A counselor
- A dietician
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with special training in psychiatry. He is accountable for the medical diagnosis and treatment of patient. Other important functions are:
- Admitting patient into acute care setting
- Prescribing and monitoring psychopharmacologic agents
- Administering electroconvulsive therapy
- Conducting individual and family therapy
- Participating in interdisciplinary team meetings
- Owing to their legal power to prescribe and to write orders, psychiatrists often function as leaders of the team.
A Psychiatric nurse is a registered nurse with specialized training in the care and treatment of psychiatric patients; she may have a Diploma, MSc, Mphil or PhD in psychiatric nursing. She is accountable for the bio-psychosocial nursing care of patients and their milieu. Other functions include:
- Administering and monitoring medications
- Assisting in numerous psychiatric and physical treatments
- Participate in interdisciplinary team meetings
- Teach patients and families
- Take responsibility for patients’ records
- Act as patients’ advocate
- Interact with patients’ significant others
A clinical psychologist should have a Masters Degree in Psychology or PhD in clinical psychology with specialized training in mental health settings. He is accountable for psychological assessments, testing and treatments. He offers direct services such as individual. Family or marital therapies.
A psychiatric social worker should have a Masters Degree in Social work or PhD degree with specialized training in mental health settings. He is accountable for family case work and community placement of patients. He conducts group therapy sessions. He emphasizes intervention with the patient in social environment in which he will live.
An occupational therapist or an Activity therapist is accountable for recreational occupational and activity programs. He assists the patients in gaining skills that help them cope more effectively, retain employment and use their leisure time.
A counselor provides basic supportive counseling and assists in psychoeducational and recreational activities.