Dumfries & Galloway Health & Social Care

Frequently Asked Questions

You may have many questions before or during your time with CAMHS. Here are our most frequently asked questions, answered by our team. Click the questions to reveal answers from professionals.

What is CAMHS and how can they help?

CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. CAMHS is the name for the NHS services that assess and treats children and young people with mental health difficulties that are significantly impacting on their day-to-day life.

If we think we might be the best service to help you, then; we will offer you a first assessment. We might then sign post you to other services, offer brief help or provide specialist help depending on the mental health difficulties you are experiencing. 

How do I get an appointment at CAMHS?

If you are 12 years old and over, you can self-refer yourself or someone else can refer you as long as you agree (Have given consent). If CAMHS is the best service to help you, you will be asked to come for a first assessment.


We know you may have to wait until your first assessment, which can be difficult, have a look at the information and resources in the young people and parents & carers section's. 

What can I expect at my first assessment?

We are a single point of access for CAMHS/ISSU18 and Psychology. Your first assessment is an opportunity for CAMHS to meet with you to gather more information on what help and support best suits you.  This assessment is usually with one of our Primary Mental Health Workers


If you are over 12 years old, we will ask you, if you would like your parent/carer to be with you in your appointments. We will meet with you and/or your family, we will listen and talk about your worries and difficulties. You might also have questions you would like to ask us.  If the difficulties, you describe are something we can help with then we will see you again.


We might then provide therapeutic interventions with the child or young person and together will agree a plan including their own personal goals. It might be more appropriate for you to get help from another service and we will talk through with you about what should happen next.

I/We have difficulties getting to appointments, what should I do?

Please give us a call on (01387) 244662 and we can try and find a time that suits you. It is really helpful if you phone in advance to cancel an appointment, as we can use the time for someone else.

Will you tell my parent/carers?

We would normally try to talk to your parents or carers to understand more about you and your family, so they can help you in the best way they can. We might talk to them about what kind of help they could offer you and ask them to come along to appointments.


If you're worried about your parents or carers coming to appointments with you or finding out what you've said or if you are worried about information being shared, please speak to your worker about this so you can agree a way forward together.


If you are over 12 years old, we will ask your permission first, and find out if you would like your parent/carer with you in your appointments?

Will you tell my school?

Whatever situation you are in, we will always try to respect your wishes and your confidentiality, to listen to your preferences and to find a way forward that is helpful. If you are worried about information being shared, please speak to your worker about this so you can agree a way forward together.

Can I say if I don't get on with my CAMHS Worker and can I get a different one?

If you feel like you’re not getting along with your CAMHS Worker, give us a call on (01387) 244662 and speak to our admin team to let them know. They will take a note and get in touch with one of our team leaders. We’ll then contact you to discuss the situation, and work out the best way forward. 

How long will I have to come to CAMHS for?

That depends on what you are accessing CAMHS for, what difficulties you need help with and when you have reached your goal/'s.  CAMHS is not a long-term service, as it aims to help young people continue to make progress themselves when sessions have ended.

Will I have to take any medication?

Medication is sometimes advised for young people with certain mental health illnesses. If you are thinking about medication then it's important to talk to your mental health worker about this as all medications are prescribed by the doctors in the team. No one will prescribe you medication without talking it through with you first.

Why has my referral been rejected?

Specialist CAMHS are for children and young people up to their 18th birthday with clear symptoms of mental ill health which place them or others at risk and/or are having a significant and persistent impact on their day-to-day life.


While some children and young people will need to come straight to CAMHS i.e. those requiring urgent mental health care, most will require this service when an intervention within School Nursing, Low Level Mental Health Support in School's, Education or a Community-Based service has not been enough.

I am nearly 18 years old, what happens next?

Transition to adult services is a big change, it is important to get as much information and support from friends and family. Your CAMHS worker will help you to arrange an appointment with the adult mental health service and come along with you if you need support. If you don't hear anything about this, don't be afraid to ask.


You will have an assessment with CAMHS and adult services, to decide what kind of help you can get from the NHS. You may not be eligible for the level of care adult services provides, but either way you will develop a plan for what happens next.

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