What to expect at your appointment

Once you are referred to Community CAMHS, your local clinic will get in contact with you to let you know that they have received a referral and you will be asked to book your first appointment with us.

We will send you information about your first appointment, 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 first appointment

Your first appointment is called a CHOICE appointment.

It usually lasts one to two hours where we will get to understand more about 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 appointment, we will decide whether you or your child would benefit from support and treatment from our team. If you do decide to continue, we will ask you to choose a suitable day and time for you to come back and see us for another appointment.

If we decide that you do not need to see us, then we will provide you and your referrer with alternative and recommended services that will best meet your needs. A written summary of the appointment and the plan for what happens next will be given to you and your referrer. We will ask you if it’s ok for us to send a copy to your GP and other service providers.

We try and see all children and young people who are referred to us as soon as possible.

Children and young people who are at high risk with mental health challenges will be contacted and offered an ‘urgent’ appointment within a few days of being referred to CAMHS.

You can contact the Community CAMHS clinic you have been referred to for information about how appointments are scheduled at that service.

If you need urgent help or advice

If you need urgent help or advice, you can call the CAMHS Crisis Connect on 1800 048 636 (7 days a week, 24 hours a day) to discuss your concerns and decide what steps you may need to take.

If the situation is life threatening call 000 or present at any hospital emergency department.

Last Updated: 11/11/2021