At-Risk Mental State (ARMS) Service for Newcastle and Gateshead – Advice, support and treatment for young people

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  • Who are we?

    The ARMS Service for Newcastle and Gateshead is a service offering advice and support for people who may be having some unusual experiences that are causing them distress or may be experiencing psychological problems.

    The ARMS service aims to help people get their life back on track. Sometimes people need a bit of extra help. At ARMS, we can give you information and practical support.

    Disturbances in thoughts, feelings and how you see the world can be confusing and distressing. You might experience unusual perceptual sensations (for example seeing or hearing things that other people can’t), be preoccupied with new or unusual ideas, or be feeling suspicious or worried about your safety. You might withdraw from friends and family or have difficulties coping with day-to-day activities because of how you are feeling.

    These changes can occur for a number of reasons. They may be related to using drugs or alcohol, or physical illness, or adjusting to new environments or situations. These changes could also be early symptoms of a mental health problem.

  • Who do we help?

    Young people between 14 and 25 with a Newcastle or Gateshead GP, who have been experiencing any of the following:

    • confused or muddled thinking
    • noticing that things and people seem strange and unreal
    • being preoccupied with particular ideas or thoughts
    • unusual experiences such as seeing or hearing things that others cannot see or hear
    • feeling suspicious or paranoid about others

    Sometimes, the young people we see also experience some of the following:

    • feeling anxious, irritable or depressed
    • disturbed patterns of sleeping or eating
    • preferring to spend time alone, away from family and friends
    • struggling to cope at school, college or work.
  • Who works for us?

    The ARMS team is made up of health professionals with a high level of training and experience in working with young people who are going through difficult times.

    The team includes two Clinical Psychologists, a Mental Health Nurse and an Assistant Psychologist.

  • How can we help?

    We can see you wherever is most convenient and normally offer appointments between the hours of 9am and 5pm.

    We offer:

    • a careful and detailed assessment of what you have been experiencing
    • a look at all aspects of your life that may be relevant
    • a chance to talk with someone to make sense of your unusual sensory experiences
    • information about unusual experiences and how other people have coped with similar experiences
    • signposting for advice with housing, benefits and finances
    • support in getting back to work or study, or in taking up new opportunities
    • thoughtful referral or transition to other support or services if this is needed
  • Will everything I tell the team be confidential?

    All the members of the team work to extremely strict rules on confidentiality.

    Everything you tell the team will normally be kept confidential and will only be shared among the team working with you. We will also ask you whether you want to receive copies of any letters that we write to your GP and the professionals involved in your care. If you felt it would be helpful for us to work with you alongside your family or carers, we would be happy to do so but we would always agree what information you wanted to be shared with them first.

    The only reason we might have to share information beyond this is if we felt there was a significant risk to you or to someone else. If that happened, we might have to share information with other agencies, but we would usually talk to you about this.

    If you have any concerns at all about confidentiality, please speak to your care coordinator/lead professional or another member of the team.

  • Contact us

    If your GP is in Newcastle you can contact members of the ARMS Team by telephoning 0191 287 6210

    Our address is:
    Ravenswood Clinic
    Ravenswood Road
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE6 5TX

    If your GP is in Gateshead you can contact members of the ARMS Team by telephoning 0191 223 2020

    Our address is:
    Dryden Education Centre
    Evistones Road
    NE9 5UR

    Email: [email protected]

    We are available from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Outside of this time, you can leave a message and we will get back to you.

  • References

    • NHS England (2020), Implementing the Early Intervention in Psychosis Access and Waiting Time Standard- updated commissioning guidance. London: NHS England Publications.
    • National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2016). Implementing the Early Intervention in Psychosis Access and Waiting Time Standard: Guidance. London: NHS England Publications.
    • Manchester EDIT Service leaflet – leaflet supplied as a part of CAARMS Train the Trainers programme in 2016
  • What if I have a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint about thr service?:

    If you want to make a comment, suggestion, compliment or complaint you can:

    We are always looking at ways to improve services. Your feedback allows us to monitor the quality of our services and act upon issues that you bring to our attention. You can provide feedback in the following ways:

    • the quickest way for you to do this is to complete our short online survey at
    • complete a Points of You survey, available on wards, reception areas or from staff
    • other options for sharing your feedback and experience

    Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
    PALS provide confidential advice and support, helping you to sort out any concerns that you may have about any aspect of your or your loved ones care.

    We act independently when handling patient and family concerns, liaising with staff, managers and, where appropriate, relevant organisations, to negotiate prompt solutions. If necessary, we can also refer patients and families to specific local or national-based support agencies.

    North of Tyne
    Tel: 0800 032 0202
    Email: [email protected]

    South of Tyne
    Tel: 0800 328 4397
    Text: 07825 061 035
    Email: [email protected]
    Post: Patient Advice and Liaison Service, Garden Lodge, Hopewood Park, Ryhope, Sunderland, SR2 0NB

    9am – 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday
    An answerphone is available at all times for you to leave a message. A member of the PALS team will aim to return your call as soon as possible.

  • Information about content, other formats and version control

    Further information about the content, reference sources or production of this leaflet can be obtained from the Patient Information Centre. If you would like to tell us what you think about this leaflet please get in touch.

    This information can be made available in a range of formats on request (eg Braille, audio, larger print, easy read, BSL or other languages). Please contact the Patient Information Centre Tel: 0191 246 7288

    Published by the Patient Information Centre
    2024 Copyright, Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust
    Ref, PIC/895/0124 January 2024 V1 Tel: 0191 246 7288
    Review date 2027