Confused about CAMHS? What's DBT when it's at home? And what exactly is a psychiatrist?

We've pulled together this Jargon Buster page to explain what all those fancy words mean!

Have we missed something off? Let us know and we'll get it added!


The Assertive Outreach Team (AOT) works with an identified group of service users who have severe mental health problems and aren’t currently engaging effectively with mental health services.

You can find out more here.

Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive brain disorder that initially affects our memory and thinking skills.

It is the most common type of dementia. More info

BMI is a measurement that uses your height and weight to determine how healthy your weight is.

Having an unusually low BMI may be a symptom of anorexia nervosa. More info

CAMS is short for the Collaborative Assessment and Management of Suicidality.

This is the name of the therapeutic framework used across NAViGO to assess suicidal risk.

It's not to be confused with CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, or CAMHS, provide mental health services for young people up to the age of 18.

In North East Lincolnshire, Young Minds Matter are the CAMHS provider.

Though pronounced the same, CAMHS and CAMS are two different terms.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is a talking therapy that works by changing the way you think and behave.

It can help you cope with stress, anxiety or depression. More info

A Clinical Commissioning Group, or CCG, are in charge of assigning NHS community and hospital services across a geographical area.

More info

CMHT is the Community Mental Health Team, which provides support within the community to working age adults who are living with severe mental illnesses.

At NAViGO, CMHT is split into two geographical areas - East and West. You can find out more here.

A Care and Treatment Plan (or CTP) covers what you want to achieve in certain areas of your life and what mental health services will help to do this.

More info

Depending on which of our services you are using, you may be assigned a care coordinator.

This person is the individual who has been named and allocated to you as a service user. They have responsibility for planning and facilitating your care plan.

If you have a comorbidity, you have one or more additional conditions on top of a primary condition.

Dialectical Behavioural Therapy is a talking therapy based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

As well as changing how you think and behave, it also focuses on accepting who you are. More info

A delusion is a fixed belief that conflicts with reality.

If you are suffering from psychosis, you may be unaware that these beliefs aren't real, so you may feel frightened. More info

EIT is an abbreviation for the Early Intervention in Psychosis & Transitions service.

The team provide specialist personal care to young people who are at risk of, or experiencing, their first episode of psychosis.

Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing, or EMDR, is a psychotherapy technique used to relieve psychological stress.

It’s designed to help service users recover from traumatic events. More info

In family interventions, families are brought together to understand the nature of a mental health diagnosis and improve communication with each other.

It's a type of therapy particularly used to help service users experiencing psychosis, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.

When someone hallucinates, they see, hear, smell, taste, feel or hear things that don't exist outside their mind.

Hallucinations are particularly common in people living with schizophrenia or psychosis. More info

Hypervigilance is a state of increased alertness and means someone is extremely sensitive to their suuroundings.

IPT, or interpersonal therapy, is a talking therapy that's used as an alternative to cognitive behavioural therapy as a means to support people with depression.

It helps people identify and tackle problems with relationships, with the concept being that these issues may be contributing to the depression.

LGBT+ is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

The + includes those who are trans, intersex, non-binary, queer, questioning, or identify their sexuality or gender in other ways.

OPMHS is an acronym for older people's mental health services, comprising of our inpatient units and community teams.

An occupational therapist helps you to complete everyday tasks if you’re having difficulties because of a physical or mental health issue.

More info

A psychiatrist is a medically qualified doctor you may find working across our services.

They study the diagnosis, management and prevention of mental health illnesses. As a doctor, they can prescribe medication on top of recommending other treatments. More info

Lots of people struggle to understand the differences between psychology and psychiatry.

Psychology is the study of people and human behaviour, so psychologists primarily consider thoughts, actions and reactions. Psychologists are not usually medically qualified.

On the other hand, psychiatry is the study of mental health problems and their diagnosis and is practised by medically trained and qualified doctors.


SMI is shorthand for the term 'severe mental illness'.

People with SMIs ofen need extra support or care from mental health services. Examples of SMIs include schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

TC is shorthand for a Therapeutic Community - a psychologically-informed environment where groups work together to approach long-term mental illnes and personality disorders.

At NAViGO, our TC is called Sequoia.


WHISe stands for the Wellbeing Health Improvement Service.

The WHISe team support service users within the Community Mental Health Team to improve their daily life, offering physical health checks and lifestyle advice to minimise comorbidity (see above!) for those with severe mental illness.