Knowing what to expect
We know that coming to your first appointment and meeting someone new for the first time is scary. You don’t always know what to expect. We hope that this page will help.
Your first appointment will be a little different, depending on what service you are going to. This will depend on whether you are going to Healthy Minds or whether you are going to Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). With this in mind, make sure you read the section that is most relevant for you.
Welcome to the Healthy Minds consultation. A consultation is a telephone conversation with you and your parent or carer. Your emotional wellbeing needs will be considered and reviewed by a member of the Healthy Minds team. They will then be able to discuss the different options of support that are available to you.
Some of the support might be:
- advice and guidance
- referral to a another service
- some group or one-to-one sessions with Healthy Minds.
Prior to the consultation
- It’s really important that we gather your voice so that we can provide the most appropriate intervention. If you are unable to attend the appointment you must share your thoughts with your parent or carer prior to the consultation.
- You and your parent or carer should consider what outcomes and goals you hope to achieve from Healthy Minds intervention.
- A safe and quiet place must be available to maintain confidentiality and allow you and your parent or carer an opportunity to share concerns.
- You and your parent or carer will be asked to scale how worried you are about your emotional wellbeing on a scale of 0 to 10. Where 0 is extremely worried and 10 is no worries at all. If you are unable to attend, please tell your parent your score to share during the consultation.
During the consultation
- A Healthy Minds practitioner will call at the agreed time and will allow up to 1 hour for the consultation
- We will explore with you what we mean by Confidentiality and consent and who you would like your information to be shared with. If you would like to learn about how we use and share your information, please click on the following link: How we use and share your information
- Calls will show up as a withheld number. If the practitioner does not receive a response, they will make a further attempt within 15 mins. If the call remains unanswered after 15 minutes, you will be discharged from Healthy Minds and a re-referral will be required if support is needed again
Some of the things we may ask you...
Who you live with and how things are within your family
What school/college is like
What difficulties you are currently facing
What would you like to change
What do you enjoy doing outside of school/college
Who is in your circle of support
If any other services are currently, or have previously, supported you and your family
Please be aware some questions asked may be sensitive in nature. This is to enable us to get a full picture of needs and to ensure everyone is safe.
Points to remember
- Healthy Minds are not able to provide a diagnosis of any sort, provide written reports or prescribe medication.
- This is a booked appointment and if you do not attend then you will be discharged. If you or your parent or carer cannot attend, please contact our Admin team at your earliest opportunity:
- Should you be accessing support from another professional for your emotional wellbeing, Healthy Minds may not be able to offer direct intervention at this time.
We know coming to your first appointment at CAMHS can be scary. Because we have the word ‘mental’ in our name, lots of people get worried about coming because of the stigma attached to the word mental. We use the word mental to describe all the things that go in your mind and to describe how somebody is feeling. To us, mental health means the same as physical health. We want you to look after your mind as you would the rest of your body.
Here are some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) all about your first appointment at CAMHS
Can I see pictures of the building I will go to?
Yes, we have taken pictures of some of our CAMHS sites so you can see where you need to go and what to expect from your first appointment. Just click on the name of the base you are travelling to.
Lincoln (Horizon Centre)- CLICK HERE to see pictures of the Lincoln clinic
Boston (Galaxy Suite)- CLICK HERE to see pictures of Boston clinic
Louth (Meridian Centre)- CLICK HERE to see pictures of Louth clinic
Spalding (Johnson Community Hospital)- CLICK HERE to see pictures of Spalding clinic
Skegness (Holly Lodge)- CLICK HERE to see pictures of Skegness clinic
Grantham (Beaconfield)- CLICK HERE to see pictures of Grantham clinic
Who will my first appointment be with?
On your appointment letter you will be informed of which practitioner your appointment will be with. It will only be on rare occasions that this may need to be changed in the event of staff sickness to avoid cancellation.
As this is a teaching organisation, you may also be asked if a student or trainee can join your appointment.
What sort of things will you ask me at my first appointment?
Remember, this first appointment is a chance to meet a CAMHS practitioner and for you to as ask us questions about what we do and how we can help.
Some of the things we ask you might include:
- Who you live with, and how things are in your family
- What life was like when you were younger
- What School or College is like for you
- How you would describe some of your difficulties, and when you believe they started
- What you would like to change by coming to CAMHS
- What activities or interests you have and enjoy
- Who are the supportive people in your life
In your first appointment, you will be asked to complete some forms or questionnaires. These can help you and the CAMHS practitioner make sense of what is going on, and the best way to support you. When you start to feel better, we can look back at them to see how you are improving and the excellent progress you are making.
Will my family be invited to my assessment?
If you’re under 16, it’s often really helpful for your family or carers to be involved in the process as they sometimes know you the best and can support you outside of appointments. This is why we usually ask parent or carers to attend the first appointment. However, we also understand that there are some things you may not feel comfortable sharing with them, so we will always give you the opportunity to be seen alone.
If you’re 16 or over, you can talk to CAMHS staff about who you would like to come to the appointments with you.
If you are attending an assessment for our Eating Disorder Service your first appointment is called a multi-disciplinary team (MDT) assessment. This means there will be more than one professional present and that your family will also be involved and invited.
Will I have a say in what happens next?
At the end of your assessment appointment you will discuss and agree with the clinician what the next steps will be. It might be appropriate to agree this there and then. Sometimes we might need to speak to more people, with your consent, to try find out the best course of action. Importantly, you will be invited to be involved in this decision.
Will you share details of what I say?
What you talk about in the appointment will not be shared with anybody else, unless you give us permission or we are worried about your safety.If you tell us something that makes us concerned for your safety, we have a duty of care to protect you and this is when we would need to share information.
If you are attending an assessment for our Eating Disorder Service your first appointment is called a 'multi-disciplinary team' (MDT) assessment which means there will be more than one professional present and that your family will also be involved and invited.
Have a listen to Becky answer some of your questions about your first appointment