Use the below times to jump to a specific question or read the answers to these and other questions below:

0:25 Who decides when I will leave therapy?

1:09 Will I be given notice when my sessions are going to come to an end?

1:50 How will my therapist help me with moving on?

2:39 What happens if I am referred to another service?

3:28 What can I do if I am finding it difficult to leave therapy?

4:31 I have been working with a service for under 18's. What happens if I am still in therapy after my 18th birthday?

Moving on

Who decides when I have to leave CAMHS?

Ideally, leaving CAMHS should be a joint decision between a young person and the professionals they are working with.  The decision should be made over time and may involve discussions about how much improvement you've made, in terms of working through the problems that you may have experienced or working towards the goals that you set during your treatment, and it's a decision that may factor in the consideration of parents and carers and how they feel the treatment may have progressed. 

Sometimes, however, a young person's work with CAMHS may come to an end because they become old enough to transition to Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS) or because they were only offered a specified amount of sessions to begin with.  Talking about what ending a treatment looks like at the beginning of treatment is recommended so that you and your therapist can start with realistic expectations.

Will I be given notice that my sessions are coming to an end?

It is really important that you are given notice if your sessions with a service are coming to an end so that you can prepare yourself for finishing your sessions and can think about what support you may require afterwards.  

If your sessions are ending because you are moving to another service, including Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS), your therapist should be able to work with you and your new service to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible.  

If you're looking for alternatives to CAMHS, our Youth Wellbeing Directory provides a list of free services across the UK for children and young people up to age 25 alongside important information and resources which you may find useful.

What happens if I don't want to leave CAMHS?

There are sometimes limits to how longs CAMHS can work with a young person especially if your therapist believes there is another service which might be more helpful for you to work with.

If you are working with a service and do not believe you are ready to leave that service you should talk to your therapist about why you think it would be helpful for you to continue working with them especially if there are circumstances or concerns that you have not previously been able to discuss with them.  

If I've been discharged from CAMHS, is there any other help I can receive?

There are many other support services available to young people in and around their local communities.   This might take the form of a school nurse or wellbeing practitioner within your local college, university or workplace, or it might involve a voluntary organisation that may provide counselling, creative therapies or other talking opportunities for young people.

If you're looking for alternatives to CAMHS, our Youth Wellbeing Directory provides a list of free services across the UK for children and young people up to age 25 alongside important information and resources which you may find useful.

If I'm referred to a different service, will my CAMHS worker support the transition?

There should always be a period of time where, with your permission and your consent, information can be shared between your new and old services about what work you've done, what difficulties you may have experienced, what's helped you and how the new service could do more to serve your needs.  

What can I do if I'm finding it hard to leave CAMHS?

It's important that you use your relationship with your existing therapist to try and think of ideas and ways that you could manage the ending of you treatment and what your life might look like after treatment has ended.  This might involve looking at your support network or other people or services in your local area who might be able to support you.

If you're looking for alternatives to CAMHS, our Youth Wellbeing Directory provides a list of free services across the UK for children and young people up to age 25 alongside important information and resources which you may find useful.

What happens if I'm still in CAMHS when I turn 18?

Depending on where you live, if you reach 18 and you have continuing mental health needs, your existing CAMHS worker should discuss with you what your support options are after being discharged from CAMHS. 

Options may include working with Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS) or accessing support through your GP or another service in your local area. 

Conversations about treatment ending due to age will often happen months in advance so that you have time to discuss what the best option is for your individual needs and to allow you time to prepare for the end of treatment. 

Please note that, in certain areas or circumstances, the transition to AMHS may occur at 16, 18 or 21.  

If you're looking for alternatives to CAMHS, our Youth Wellbeing Directory provides a list of free services across the UK for children and young people up to age 25 alongside important information and resources which you may find useful.