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What happens when you attend CAMHS

When you attend CAMHS, a team will work with you and your family on the difficulties you are experiencing.

CAMHS teams

CAMHS is made up of teams that work in communities around the country. There are also CAMHS teams in some hospitals for young people who need inpatient care.

CAMHS teams can include:

  • psychiatrists
  • psychologists
  • psychotherapists
  • social care workers
  • nurses
  • dietitians
  • occupational therapists
  • speech and language therapists

Your first appointment

At your first appointment, you will usually see 2 members of your CAMHS team. The first appointment takes about an hour and a half.

During the appointment, the team will:

  • tell you about CAMHS and what to expect when you attend the service
  • ask you about the difficulties you are having and your goals
  • talk to your parent or guardian

You do not have to talk about everything in the first meeting. Your parent or guardian can stay with you the whole time if you want.

Your care plan

After your first appointment, the team will work with you and your family to create a care plan. The plan explains how we will try to help you with your difficulties.

The care plan includes:

  • a summary of your difficulties and a diagnosis if available
  • your goals for attending CAMHS
  • what your needs are
  • how the service is going to meet your needs
  • who will help you work on your goals

Your care plan is a working document. You and your CAMHS team can review and update your plan when you need to.

Plans can involve talk therapy, group therapy, medicines and other forms of treatment.

Leaving CAMHS

The CAMHS team will work with you on your goals and care plan.

When you decide with the team that you have completed your goals, the team will discuss your discharge plan with you. You will decide together if you need any further support.

The team may:

  • discharge you back to your GP or other health professional who referred you to CAMHS
  • refer you to adult mental health services

Moving to adult services

If you turn 18 before you complete your goals with CAMHS, the team may refer you to adult mental health services.

The team will plan this with you several months before you turn 18. They will introduce you to your adult mental health team.

Page last reviewed: 27 October 2023
Next review due: 27 October 2026