If you’re due to have your first appointment with our Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), then you may be wondering what it will be like. Evie Day, Mental Health Nurse with CAMHS, explains what you can expect from your first visit.
“Your initial appointment with CAMHS will take place at one of our bases or perhaps in the community.
“Before your appointment, we send out an invitation letter for your initial visit with us, which will let you know where to find us, what happens when you arrive, and who to bring with you. We hope you find our waiting rooms comfortable and child-friendly.
“Most children and young people bring a family member or their carer along with them. The appointment will give you the opportunity to meet with the clinician on your own, and part of the assessment is often a chance for us to speak with your parents or carer as well to gather their thoughts on how best we can help you.
“Our staff are specially trained and have lots of experience of talking to children and young people, and their parents and carers, about thoughts and feelings. There are many ways we can help.
“What we talk about will be private, and we normally won’t share this with anyone else unless you would like us to. This is called respecting your confidentiality. However, if we are worried about your safety or the safety of anyone else, we may need to tell someone about it (although we would always tell you about that first).
“We take confidentiality very seriously. During your first appointment, we will explain how we store information about you, and who has access to it. We will also seek your views about sharing information and will ask for your permission to contact people.
“Your first appointment will typically take an hour and we will talk about what’s worrying you or you are finding difficult to cope with at the moment. It may be we find services based in your community that are best able to help you, or we may invite you back for further appointments with our service.
“At the end of this appointment, we will come to an agreement with you about what your next steps are. If we agree that CAMHS can help you further, we will discuss various options for support while you wait for your next appointment.”
You can find out a lot more about our service and what we provide on our website, including a film showing what happens when you visit us.