Jargon buster

Young people have said that there are some words in mental health services which can be confusing. Here they are explained.


Being given support and enabling people to express their views and concerns. This could be by helping you to access information and services, or by defending and promoting your rights and responsibilities.


Spoken, written, acted on, etc., in strict privacy or secrecy; secret. Staff must keep your details of care confidential.

However, they also have a duty to share information related to your care with the CAMHS Team looking after you and your GP practice. It is often helpful to share information with your parents / carers and families.

We would always discuss this with you before doing so, and would be guided by you in most cases about what information is shared.

Very occasionally there may be times when staff are concerned about safety, either your own or others. At these times staff may have to share confidential information with others on a need-to-know basis, but they will always inform you that this is the case and seek your permission where possible.


Agreement or permission to do or allow something. CAMHS may ask for your consent to share information with other people (your family or school for example) or consent to accept treatment.

Capacity to Consent

There are slightly different rules depending on your age, but following the Mental Capacity Act 2005, a person is presumed to have capacity unless “At the material time he is unable to make a decision for himself… because of an impairment of, or disturbance in the functioning of the mind or brain”. How do CAMHS know if you have capacity? Because you can…

  • Understand the information about the decision to be made.
  • Retain the information in your mind.
  • Use that information as part of the decision-making process.
  • Communicate your decision.
Parental Consent

If you are over the age of 16 you are entitled to consent to your own treatment. More information about consent can be found on the NHS Choices website.


To send or direct to a source for help.


A health care professional who gives care to a patient in a hospital, skilled nursing facility, clinic, or patient’s home.

Care Programme Approach (CPA)

A way of making sure care is given and reviewed around your needs. A care plan is drawn up with you which aims to ensure that everyone supporting you knows what helps during times of distress, and what everyone needs to do to help your recovery.


A physical, mental health or functions sickness; malady or dysfunction.


A chance of getting hurt or losing something.


A judgment, valuation or evaluation.


A looking back over past events, memories, or facts.


A result of something. For mental health services this means the impact that healthcare has on you, and the results of what has been done.

Routine Outcome Measure (ROM)

Tools which measure the results of your care. This could be your satisfaction as a patient, or a graph to show whether the process makes you feel better or worse. It could also be setting your own goals and keeping track of them.


A registered health care professional with advanced training who specialises in certain medical practices or therapies under the supervision of a doctor.

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Page last reviewed: 11 January, 2023