So you have been referred to CAMHS… what now?
When we receive your referral (from School or your GP), our clinicians look over this and decide what will be the best possible way to help support you. They will contact the person who referred you and let them know their thoughts. This might be signposting to another Service or giving advice.
Our staff may contact you by telephone to offer a ‘triage call’. This is simply a short telephone call with one of our clinicians that allows them to speak with you and get some more information. This helps us decide how best we can help. We may also write to yourself or your school to ask for some more information.
If you are added to our Waiting List, we will write to you to inform you of this. Unfortunately, due to the demand on our Service, you may experience a bit of a wait until your first appointment. Our website is full of resources and helpful guides to look at in the meantime, that will hopefully be useful.
You may hear your appointment being called an assessment. At present, due to the current Coronavirus situation, the majority of our appointments/assessments are being carried out via telephone or video consulting (Near Me). If however it is felt that a face-to-face appointment is required, then this will be arranged.
Attending CAMHS at the moment is a little bit different. You will be contacted by a member of our lovely admin team prior to your appointment to ask about possible Coronavirus symptoms. Please answer these questions honestly and do not worry if this means we need to rearrange your appointment. We will do so as soon as possible or be able to offer an alternative such as a phone call or video call.
If possible, you will be asked to wear a mask and to only attend with one other person such as a parent or carer. Our staff will also be wearing masks or be behind clear screens. You will be asked to use some handgel when you arrive too and to sit a more spaced out waiting area than you may be used to. Your clinician will come to get you and show you into the clinic room. The clinic rooms may look a bit strange as they need to be spaced out to keep everyone safe.
The following may help explain this a bit better…
- Coming to CAMHS
- My visit to the hospital
Coming to CAMHS
We ask that referrers provide us with as much information as they can at the point of referral, which helps us decide how to process your referral. If the referral is not appropriate we will write to you and let you know and will do our best to signpost you to a service that is more appropriate.
When we are able to offer you an appointment, we will write to you and ask you to get in touch. It is important that you read this letter very carefully as it will have a contact number for you to phone and arrange an appointment.
If for whatever reason you don’t get in touch, we will write to you again asking you to telephone and make an appointment. If you don’t respond to this second letter we will assume you no longer want an appointment with us and will discharge you and write to the person who referred you to advise.
Older Children: We prefer young people to bring their guardians to a first appointment. We would like to be able to gather information from all family members. If there are things you want to talk about privately with us, without your family present, we will give you the time and space to do this. There are times, if we are very concerned about a young person’s safety, that we have to speak to their parent/guardian. We would always try to let you know how and why we are doing this.
All treatment offered is evidence based so has been researched thoroughly to ensure that the particular difficulty experienced by the child or young person is addressed using the most effective treatment available.
It may be that you will remain seeing the clinician who first assessed you but depending on the presenting difficulties you may need intervention from another member of the team.
Sometimes only a few meetings are needed and sometimes it takes longer. This will regularly be reviewed with you.
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Family Based Therapy (FBT)
- Partnership Groups for Parents e.g. ADHD, ASD and SMARTS
- Attachment based therapies
- ADHD monitoring/behavioural interventions
- Medication monitoring
- Mindfulness based therapies
- EMDR (a specialist intervention for trauma)
- Behavioural Family Therapy (BFT)
- Group based interventions
- Speclialist consultations with other professionals
- We will probably ask you and your family a lot of questions. We might ask a bit about you/your child’s school, what you like to do in your spare time, who lives with you and what your likes and dislikes are.
- We will ask what your current concerns are, when you first noticed these concerns and how it affects you (e.g. how it feels, if it has changed how you behave) and other people in your family.
- We will ask you if there are/have been any significant life events happening within the family such as divorce or bereavement.
- We will also ask you or your parent about your early development, like how you managed in nursery or at primary school.
- We will ask what has been tried in the past to help, what has worked and what has not.
- We will ask what changes you would like to make and what your want to achieve from coming to CAMHS. We may also ask about the timing of the referral ie why now, what has changed?
We will always be guided by you/your child as to what you/they feel comfortable talking about and there will be no pressure to discuss anything you are not ready to.
You might want to write things down on a piece of paper to help you remember what you would like to say in the appointment. You might like to write down examples of your concerns, if you have noticed any patterns to your problems, what helps and what doesn’t.
You can bring someone along that you trust for support, if you would like to and you can also take notes.
We will discuss ending your appointments with you, taking into account your feelings and opinions regarding this. Ending an intervention normally happens over an agreed period of time so that you feel prepared to be discharged.