Your child's first appointment

Before you visit us

After your child’s 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 discuss the appointment with your child and family, so that you can have a think about any questions you might like to ask, or particular things you want to raise.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 for your child if you'd like. We will then invite you into one of our  rooms where we can talk one-to-one.

During your first CAMHS appointment

Families 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 your family. We might ask your child’s behaviour, needs, and any challenges or problems. While it is important for parents and carers to be included in this discussion, there may be times when the CAMHS clinician needs to talk alone with your child – this is completely routine and should not cause any concern. 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 is said 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 children and young people to talk to their family about coming to see us, however we will respect their rights not to share some things.

How long do we keep your information?

The law requires us to keep your child’s records for 25 years from the date we last saw them.

How are we doing ?

We like to know how your families 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