No matter how you get referred or directed to us, we will work with you to find out what is important to you, what you want to change and how we are going to work together to do this.

Communicating with you

We will communicate with you and your family in a variety of ways, including letters, phone calls, text messages and emails.

We will either send you a letter or ring you with an appointment time.

We may send you an ‘opt in’ letter to check that you still want an appointment and to confirm we have the right details for you.

It is really important that you read all the letters and respond if needed so that there is no delay in your journey.

It is also really important for you to keep your contact details up to date with us – including your address, phone number and email.

If you have any questions or need to update your contact details, you can ring us on 02921 836730.

Before your first appointment

Ahead of your first appointment with us, it may be helpful for you to think about the following:

  • What challenges are you facing and how are they affecting your life?
  • How long have these challenges been going on?
  • What would you like to change? 
  • Can you pin point when these challenges began? 
  • What has been helpful or unhelpful so far?
  • What support do you already have within your family, friends and wider network?

It may be helpful to write these thoughts down so you remember them at your appointment.

Your first appointment

You may feel nervous before your first appointment with us.

It is completely normal to feel like this when you are not sure of what to expect or you are going through a tough time.

Our staff will do everything they can to make you feel comfortable.

Your first appointment with us is called a ‘choice appointment’ or ‘assessment’.

This is basically a chance for us to get to know you better so that we can make a decision on your next steps.

This is a one off appointment – what happens next will depend on the support you may need.

You will meet with one of our practitioners to talk about what’s going well, what is perhaps not going quite so well and what you want to achieve.

We may ask to speak to your parent or carer to help us understand how things are affecting you, if you are happy for us to do so. We may also speak to you on your own.

We may decide together that you would benefit from further appointments with us or  that there is another service that is better suited to your needs.

Your practitioner will listen to you and make sure you understand what will happen next.

Frequently asked questions

We want to answer any questions you may have before coming to an appointment on this page.

We will update this page regularly so please let us know what information you would like to know.

You can also ask your practitioner these questions at any time during your time with us. They will make sure that you understand and agree with what is happening.

There may be a wait between your referral being made and your first appointment with us.

The length of this wait will vary depending on the support you need but we will always try to see you as soon as possible.

Click here for information and advice if you are worried about your own safety or the safety or others around you before or between your appointments with us.

When we contact you about your appointment, we will speak to you about the options available.

We currently offer appointments through a variety of methods, including video consultation, telephone calls and, where required, face to face appointments.

The first person you will meet if you have a face to face appointment will be a receptionist.

If you tell them your name and that you have an appointment, they’ll tell you where you can wait and let your practitioner know that you have arrived.

Your appointment will include one or two practitioners, depending on what challenges you are facing. Your practitioner might be a nurse, a psychologist, family therapist or psychiatrist – it will depend on what you need and what you want to achieve.

If you or your family are not confident speaking English or Welsh, please let us know as soon as possible and we can also arrange for an interpreter to come to your appointment.

This is to make sure you understand what’s going on, can talk about what is important to you and participate in your own care.

To offer you the best care, we may need to meet other members of your family to hear their thoughts about the challenges you are facing. We may also speak to talk to you on your own.

We may also find it helpful to speak to your GP, teacher, social worker, or any other professional that is supporting you and your family.

Ahead of your first appointment with us, it may be helpful for you to think about the following:

  • What challenges are you facing and how are they affecting your life?
  • How long have these challenges been going on?
  • What would you like to change? 
  • Can you pin point when these challenges began?
  • What has been helpful or unhelpful so far?
  • What support already exists within your family, friends and wider network?

It may be helpful to write these thoughts down to help you remember this at your appointment.

It might also be useful to do the following:

  • Keep a diary of emotions or feelings that you are worried about
  • Track your mood and what you’ve been doing for a few days – you could use one of the apps listed on our Resources page
  • Think about any questions you may want to ask your practitioner
  • Check out CAMHS Ready for a list of things you may want to talk or think about

Your first appointment is your opportunity to tell your practitioner about what is happening in your life, how you are feeling and what you would like to change.

It can be really tough to talk about how you are feeling. Just remember – this is a safe space and our practitioners want to help you.

Your practitioner may ask questions such as:

  • What challenges are you currently facing?
  • How long have you been feeling like this?
  • Who’s in your family and how do you all get on?
  • What is life like at school and with your friends?
  • How has your mood been recently? Have you been feeling stressed or low?
  • Are you, or is anyone around you, worried about your safety?
  • What things are you good at and what do you enjoy?
  • What would like to achieve in our time together?

They ask these questions to get a better understanding of the challenges you are facing and the support you already have. You do not have to answer all of the questions they ask, and you can also ask them questions.

Here are some ideas for questions you may want to ask

  • How often will I be coming here?
  • Who will I see when I come here?
  • Who can I speak to if I have a problem between appointments or during the weekend?
  • Where else can I find information, advice or assistance about my mental health?

At the end of your first appointment, your practitioner will talk with you about what happens next based on what you need and what you spoke about together.

If a further appointment is needed, you and your family may be asked to complete some questionnaires – this is to help your practitioner to understand the challenges you are facing and how you and your family are feeling about things.

You may also be asked to complete these in later sessions. This is to measure your progress against your goals and to determine whether the service is providing you with the support that you need.

Our expectations

Due to the high number of children and young people waiting to access support from us, we have some policies in place to ensure that we use both our time and yours as efficiently as possible.

An opt in letter is just when we check that you still want support from us. Things may have changed for you and it helps us to confirm we still have your correct details.

It is important that you respond to the opt in letter within the requested time frame.

If we don’t hear from you, we will presume that you no longer require support.

If you’re not sure whether you still need support, give us a ring and we can talk about it.

If you cannot attend an appointment for whatever reason, please let us know as soon as possible to discuss your options.

We  have an attendance policy to ensure the best use of our patient and staff time.

Young people being an active part of their journey alongside their practitioner and the people they care about is really important – this includes attending appointments. Missing appointments without letting us know in advance makes it difficult for us to offer this time to another child or young person.

As such, if you miss your first appointment OR two appointments without letting us know in advance, we may discharge you from the service.

This means that you would require another referral to access support from us.