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CAMHS wait time for depression/anxiety?(8 Posts)
DD 16 was seen last week by a GP regarding mental health, she made the appt herself and went alone. GP knows she self harmed in year 7/8, and that the current issue is "moderate depression" according to the diagnosis test she took. GP then said he would refer her to CAMHS.
I've heard horror stories about waiting list times for CAMHS - can someone make this clear for me? Are we on the waiting list, have we even been referred yet? How long will we be before getting an assessment? Are we likely to be rejected after the initial assessment - if it ever happens? Area specific detail would be great, we are in Bath and North east somerset.
My advice is call your GP for confirmation that referral has been made. When confirmed phone CAMHS. Phone daily to check receipt and assessment date. Keep phoning (avoid before 9.30 or after 4.30 because although CAMHS is billed as 9-5 the staff ime arrive late and go early).
Follow up every conversation in writing noting what has been agreed. Send all correspondence recorded - better than email as has to be signed for.
They are slow, lazy and generally dishonest in my experience.
Good luck, love your DD. Sorry you are going through this. Keep copies of everything and note every convo. Do not leave their offices without a plan of agreement. Stand firm for your daughter.
IME they are very very lazy and move heaven and earth to do as little as possible. Surrey here but you might have a better service elsewhere.
Actually I'd record all conversations with them if possible.
I was under CAMHS (was referred at 16) then was seen in A&E... It got moved along a little quicker. About 3 months after, I had an initial assessment. Then about 6 months? I started my first therapy and then that stopped just before my 18th (so about a year and a half was how long I waited from the beginning - my last session of 1 lot of CBT).
Your daughter will be assessed after a wait tjen tney decide if they will take you on or not. Usually not in my experience unless it's a crisis situation.
Your daughter's referral will go through a sort of gate keeping process and she may or may not be seen depending on whether they deem it serious enough.
Depends what she has told the gp.
When my dd was under them she was seen within 2 weeks, assessed and started seeing them about 2 weeks later.
Ds even with referral from schools, gp, social worker he was seen for the first assessment for about 9 months. Then they tried to wash their hands but we all fought back.
I wouldn't agree with calling camhs daily- it won't help! Certainly call and check they've received the referral and what the outcome was. If accepted then ask what the wait times are for an assessment.
I work for camhs up north and our routine assessments are seen within 8 weeks. Riskier cases are of course seen sooner than this. On receiving a referral, we consider which is the most appropriate service as we also have counselling services that would see depression and anxiety presentations. If you're not happy with the outcome, give camhs a call and ask to speak with a clinician about your daughters presentation. decisions are made based on the referral - if gp has just written a few lines this may miss what your concerns are.
Also 16+ on our area can see adult services (I think camhs are better to see young people but that is an option).
Waiting times and services will vary across the country so generic advice will probably be better than individual horror stories. For example, I have not found CAMHS staff to be lazy and dishonest (some accusation, which if correct warrants complaint). Where I live the CAMHS service is chronically understaffed and overworked. This means that initial access is difficult, and sadly in general the service will be accessed fasted by the most persistent parents, so I would check the referral has happened, then call weekly. Keeping in mind that they will/should prioritise children in urgent need. Also keep in mind that they may signpost her elsewhere.
To counteract the 'bad' stories, almost everyone we have come into contact with at CAMHS over the last few years has been professional, caring...and downright brilliant. They almost undoubtedly saved my daughter's life. And not a sticking plaster type 'saved' until the next time - they really, really changed her life (although there may be a next time, of course. Probably I should say there probably will be a next time, but she/we are SO much better equipped to deal with it now thanks to some hard working, dedicated, wonderful psychiatrists, therapists, paediatricians, mental health nurses etc.
If it is possible to work with CAMHS. Rather than against them, getting better outcomes will be easier.
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