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Transitioning from CAMHS to Adult Mental Health

defeatingdisability Member Posts: 5 Connected
I'm Bryony, I'm 20 and live with cerebral palsy, right hemiplegia and mental health problems such as psychosis and PTSD. I am a disability and mental health advocate with my own blog where I write about my experiences with disability and mental health.

I first started seeing CAMHS at 14 through appointments with my Psychiatrist. I was experiencing upsetting visual, auditory and tactile hallucinations. My CAMHS doctor referred me to the Early Intervention Service (EIS): they help people with psychosis. I was with them for three years leading up to my eighteenth birthday when I would transition to Adult Mental Health Services.

I found this transition extremely hard and challenging. I’d been seeing EIS professionals once a week or more for three years and I was apprehensive about how I would cope with seeing specialists less frequently. I believed that the EIS professionals really understood how I felt, and I was nervous that my new care professionals wouldn’t understand me. Whilst with CAMHS I had spent several weeks in a mental health hospital and I had made some good friends there. I remember talking to them about the transitioning experience: they all felt that this wasn’t handled well. I recall, whilst transitioning to adult mental health, some of the professionals who had worked with me at CAMHS started to leave other people had to take on their roles but they were confused about what transitioning work to do, and how. Staff shortages really affected my transitioning journey.

I remember a meeting with my new care coordinator from adult mental health.  We discussed the types of things I had been doing with EIS and CAMHS. I felt she didn’t understand my situation and didn’t grasp how my disability could affect me as I needed more help than my peers. She didn’t take or put many notes on the system. When she left my next care coordinator did not know what I had been doing or how I had been feeling. This all happened quite soon after I went to Adult Mental Health Services so I found it very hard to trust that my care team would put proper notes on the system or understand my disability.

I believe that medical professionals may find it hard to understand me, but sometimes it seems they don’t even try. Is this my fault? Other Government professionals in education seemed to discriminate against me by not providing opportunities compared to my peers. Why?

I have, however, found that volunteers (for example Riding for the Disabled) do understand and help me enormously. The Theatre Shed team also understands me and makes me feel part of society. Similarly the Scope partnerships offer much encouragement and are helping to reshape perceptions of the disabled in employment.

What would it take for Government bodies such as those involved in transitioning and in education to provide the love and care that charities such as the RDA and The Theatre Shed provide through volunteering? Please share your thoughts below.


  • Ails
    Ails Member Posts: 2,256 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you for sharing your experiences of transitioning from CAMHS to Adult Mental Health, Bryony.  I'm sorry to hear that you have had such a hard time with this.  I have a friend whose daughter sees CAMHS and is dreading her daughter's transition to Adult Care for fear of it being traumatic for her.  I think that there should be better training for government bodies involved in transitioning and their training should be kept up-to-date so they can support people better.  I am so glad to hear that Riding for the Disabled, The Theatre Shed and Scope support you so well.  :smile:
    Winner of the Scope New Volunteer Award 2019.   :)
  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    This is why I actively campaign. As a mom of a disabled child I’ve learned that awareness is not just about the medical issues of disability. It is also about society. 
  • Chloe_Scope
    Chloe_Scope Scope Posts: 10,566 Disability Gamechanger
    Thank you so much for sharing this @defeatingdisability :) I found it a really interesting read!

  • debbiedo49
    debbiedo49 Member Posts: 2,904 Disability Gamechanger
    Fabulous to hear from you @defeatingdisability!  I feel you. My son went through Cahms. Just before he turned 18 he was having health issues and they just said no sorry we can't help you any longer you need to go to adult team. Bye! He didn't bother and carried on by himself. He doesn't have the confidence to address it by himself and he doesn't want me to help him. Thankfully he has a youth worker who referred him to an organisation called Headstrong and he is getting help there. Otherwise he would be adrift.
  • Adrian_Scope
    Adrian_Scope Posts: 8,363

    Scope community team

    You've posed some interesting questions @defeatingdisability and this was a really interesting read. Thank you.
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