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What is Shared Decision Making?

Shared Decision Making is a collaborative process where a young person works together with their family and professionals/service provider to make an informed decision about the treatment or care option that is best for them.

For Shared Decision Making to take place, information, evidence, options and preferences should be exchanged and discussed. All voices should be respected and concerns shared within a safe space.           

Why is it important?

Shared Decision Making (SDM) is recognised as a person-centred approach to improving health care quality. It ensures young people and their families get a voice and decisions are made with the young person's best interest at heart.

Studies show that involving service users in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) care and treatment decisions is associated with improved health outcomes and higher satisfaction with services.

The videos below offer tips to young people, parents and carers and mental health professionals about how to engage in the shared decision making process.  You can read the tips and find other resources by clicking on the concertina below the videos.

These tips were developed by the Centre's Young Champions, Parent Champions, clinicians and researchers. Find out more about how this page was created.

To download our free Shared Decision Making poster, please click on the image below:


To find free mental health support local to you, please see Youth Wellbeing Directory.

For more information about working with services, please see Receiving Support.

For information about what particular words or phrases mean, please refer to our Jargon Buster.