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So, you’re turning 18 and moving on from CAMHS?

We call moving from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) into adult services as ‘transition’. It can be a difficult time when lots of other changes could be taking place in your life but the transition team can help and support you during this process.

At CAMHS we recognise the uncertainty and apprehension associated with moving on from the service, whether it be discharging from services when your treatment is complete or moving on to Adult Mental Health Services when you reach 18 years old if required.

At an appropriate time in your CAMHS journey your care coordinator will start talking with you about your transition plan. You will be included in the process every step of the way and will have support and involvement of the CAMHS transition team, which will include several dedicated peer support workers. Their priority is to support you with the move to help ensure continuity of care and to minimise anxiety for you.

They can also provide peer support and practical help so you can be in control of this change as needed. They may share with you their story from their own lived experience of using mental health services. They hope to inspire, support, and empower you. They will make sure that you feel listened to, feel settled and that your needs are being met. Contact with them, may be over the telephone or face-to-face it’s up to you.

My transition plan

You (and your parents/carer if you wish) should be directly involved in creating your own transition plan with the help of your care coordinator and peer support worker. Your plan should include:

  • What you hope to receive in you current and future support and how these needs can be met
  • ‘Transition Action Points’ and who is responsible for carrying them out and when
  • A plan for keeping well
  • A timescale, with key transition dates pinpointed
  • Contact details for all those involved in your transition planning and who to contact if you are unsure about anything.

Top tips for transition

  • Let people know what you think you need, to help you through the transition process
  • Make sure you are involved in creating your own Transition Plan
  • Planning should start early to give you plenty of time to plan and adjust
  • Let someone know if you have any concerns at all about how things are going
  • Work with your peer support worker to create a plan for keeping well
  • Let CAMHS know if you want your parents or carers to be involved
  • If you don’t understand something, ask for it to be explained
  • If you are unhappy with what is being offered to you, make sure you bring it up immediately with someone in CAMHS.

Taking Care of Myself

Whether or not you are experiencing mental health problems, it’s always important to stay mentally healthy and there are lots of ways that you can look after your emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Eating Healthy

What we eat most certainly can affect our mood; there is a link between what we eat and how we feel so it’s important to have a healthy, balanced diet for both your body and mind. Change4Life have lots of easy tips and recipes for eating better and you can find out more about healthy eating for teenagers on the NHS website: Healthy eating for teens.

Get Active

Getting active and taking regular exercise is really great for your emotional wellbeing. There is evidence to show that exercise can help raise self-esteem, help sleep problems, improve memory and concentration, take your mind off negative thoughts, as well as reduces feelings of anxiety and depression.

Take time to relax

Regular relaxation is very beneficial for your mental health and emotional wellbeing. Take some time to find out what you like to do that helps you relax, this might include:

  • writing in a diary or journal
  • watching TV
  • looking after a pet
  • listening to music or playing a musical instrument
  • having a bath
  • cooking
  • reading
  • gaming
  • going for a walk
  • going to see a friend
  • meditating
  • practising mindfulness.

It’s good to share

Sharing what’s bothering you, with your friends and family can help you feel better and make your problems feel more manageable. However if you are worried about talking to those close to you or if you feel that the problems you’re having are too big for you to deal with by yourself, you can speak to a teacher, school nurse, GP or someone else you trust.

You can find more information about ways to look after your mental health on the Young Minds website and the I Gotta Feeling: Top Tips For Feeling Good booklet has some useful tips.

You may find it helpful to complete your own wellbeing action plan to help keep you on track with your emotional health and wellbeing:  CMWT – Wellbeing Action Plan

If you’re finding it hard to talk to people you know about how you feel, you can contact ChildLine