Clients referred to CHT come with a range of different psychiatric diagnoses. The majority have diagnoses of mental illness or mental disorder, others have experiences trauma and/or social exclusion in their lives, and many have associated histories of substance misuse, homelessness and other socially challenging problems.
CHT works with people presenting symptoms of severe mental ill heath and those difficult to reach. In practice this means that we work with people who may be in considerable mental distress much of the time. They may be excessively worried and in an agitated state, experience obsessive thoughts associated with some form of compulsive behaviour; some adopt strict habits and rigid ways of relating; others may have lost all interest in life and have acute feelings of worthlessness or guilt. Others still may be preoccupied with suicidal thoughts or become extremely elated or over active, hear voices and have paranoid, persecutory ideas. Often clients' sleep patterns are affected by their mental ill health and they may try to inflict deliberate self harm by cutting themselves or taking overdoses of medication, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol or taking illegal drugs.
One of the things which the clients often have in common is significant 'attachment difficulties' giving rise to failed interpersonal and social relationships. A crucial part of the staff task is, therefore, to provide clients with opportunities to form network of relationships that are positive and that will contain, hold, protect and provide clients with opportunities for personal and social exploration and development.