What to expect at your first appointment

Your first appointment at CAMHS will be your assessment where you will meet with a CAMHS worker and your parent or guardian. This is to help with getting to know you and deciding the pathway of support CAMHS can offer you.

An assessment doesn’t necessarily mean you will need to have follow up appointments, but there are other local support services which CAMHS will be able to recommend for you.

How long will my appointment take?

Your first appointment will usually take around an hour to an hour and a half. Some people find that they aren’t very keen to return to school or work immediately after talking about important and difficult issues. So it might be worth considering whether you want to take time out after your appointment.

Who will I meet?

You will meet with an experienced mental health practitioner at your first appointment. They will explain what their job or profession is. Sometimes we have people training or studying to become professionals working within the team who may be one of the other people you meet with.

What will actually happen?

Mostly what will happen will be talking. We will ask some questions, and you will have the chance to ask us questions and say what you think is important. Sometimes we check height, weight, blood pressure and pulse if there is a need to check a child or young person’s physical health but we do not give injections.

Will I get a chance to talk on my own?

Yes! We try to give parents/carers, children and young people a space to talk on their own with someone. However, you can of course choose to talk together if this is what you would prefer.

What will happen afterwards?

By the end of your first appointment you will be told what is going to happen. Sometimes we need to see you again to find out more. Sometimes we may decide that a different service can support you. If we think it could be useful we will ask your permission to get information from someone else who may be supporting you, such as your school.

Page last reviewed: 3 September, 2021