I've been referred. What next?

We will process your referral and may contact you and/or your referrer to obtain further information about your mental health challenges to assess the urgency of the referral.

We will contact you to offer you an appointment or give you information about alternative services if Community CAMHS is not the appropriate service.

If we assess your referral as urgent, we will attempt to contact you via telephone within two business days.

We will invite you (by letter or telephone) to book a Choice appointment. If you would like to accept this appointment, we will forward you a confirmation letter with further information, including:

  • the date and time of the appointment
  • a map of how to get to the clinic
  • who you might see at the appointment
  • what you might need to bring

Your Choice appointment

This appointment usually lasts 1 to 2 hours. The aim is for us to better understand your mental health concerns, what has worked or not worked in the past, who you might be working with now, and what support you feel that you need.

At the Choice appointment you might meet a social worker, occupational therapist, psychologist or nurse. All CAMHS clinical staff have professional qualifications and are trained in mental health assessment for children, young people and their families.

At the end of the Choice appointment, we will let you know whether our service is appropriate for your child or young person’s needs. If our service is appropriate, we will offer you a Partnership appointment (first treatment appointment) at the earliest available day and time. There might be a delay between your Choice and Partnership appointments.

At any time, if you have any urgent or acute mental health concerns, you are advised to contact CAMHS Crisis Connect, your GP or present to your nearest hospital emergency department.

If our service is not appropriate, we will provide you and your referrer with information on alternative services that may better meet your needs. A written summary of the appointment and the plan for what happens next will be given to you and your referrer.

When will I be offered a Choice appointment?

We receive a significant number of referrals and try to see all appropriate referrals face-to-face as soon as practicable.

All referrals are reviewed and prioritised based on clinical need and risk in relation to mental health concerns.

For children and young people who are at high risk, we will attempt to contact you within two business days. We will discuss how to keep your child or young person safe and provide information on access to emergency services if required.

If things have changed since your referral and you need to see someone sooner, you can call your Community CAMHS clinic to talk about making an earlier time to meet.

How long will I stay in the service?

The length of your involvement with Community CAMHS will be influenced by a range of factors, including recovery and your response to treatment.

The availability of community supports, “step down services” and more appropriate specialist services may also determine discharge from the service.

If severe mental health difficulties occur again, children, young people and their families and carers are welcome to return to the service.

Last Updated: 17/01/2023