Your first CAMHS appointment

Before you visit us

After your referral has been accepted by CAMHS, you will be offered an appointment to come and see us (sometimes called an “assessment”). We aim to see everyone within twelve weeks, but most of the time we will see you before that.

Before you visit us, it can be useful to have a chat with someone about your first visit to CAMHS, so that you can have a think about any questions you might like to ask, or particular things you want to discuss. Helpful people to have this discussion with could be your mum, dad, carer, friend, teacher or the person who referred you to CAMHS. The CAMHS Ready website lets you make a checklist of things you may want to talk about, if that is helpful.


Arriving at CAMHS

When you come to CAMHS for your first appointment, the first person you will meet is our receptionist. They will book you in, show you where to wait for your appointment, and then let the person you have come to meet (sometimes known as your “clinician”) know that you have arrived. You might sit in our waiting room for a short while – so bring something to read if you’d like. Don’t worry though; we won’t keep you waiting too long! We will then invite you into one of our rooms where we can talk (your mum, dad or carer will be able to come with you).

During your first CAMHS appointment

Young people come to CAMHS for all sorts of different reasons, so the first time you visit us we will want to get to know you, and find out what life’s been like for you. We might ask you about home life, school, friends, and the kind of things you like doing, and any challenges or problems. It is often important for parents and carers to be included in this discussion, but there will also be time for you to talk alone with your CAMHS clinician, if you’d like to. Remember that you can ask questions too. We’ll then try and agree what will happen next, and the type of help that might be best for you and your family.


We will keep what you say to us private unless we believe there may be a risk of harm to yourself or others, in which case we will speak to somebody who can help (e.g. family, school).

We will encourage you to talk to your family about coming to see us, however we will respect your right not to share some things.

How long do we keep your information?

The law requires us to keep your records for 25 years from the date we last saw you.

How are we doing ?

We like to know how your experience in CAMHS is going and welcome your feedback.  We hope you are pleased with the service you receive from us.  If you would like to raise a concern you can talk to your clinician, or telephone/email the patient experience team, who will try and sort out the problem. or 020 8702 4700