Who are we?
The ARMS Service for Cumbria 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 sensory experiences (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 aged 14 and 25 with a Cumbria 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 a Psychological Therapist, Occupational Therapists, a Clinical Support Assistant and a Psychiatrist.
How can we help?
We will try to see you wherever is most convenient, or offer online video appointments, 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.
How can I get referred?
We accept referrals from GPs and a range of organisations and individuals. You can also self-refer to our service.