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So your child is turning 18?

The support on offer from key service providers changes significantly when young people officially enter adulthood.

Whilst the support from adult services will have the young person at its centre, carers support is available through Leeds Carers Centre who give advice and support on being a carer of someone with mental health difficulties. Adult services also provide family therapy for those families who wish to use a family approach to resolve their difficulties.

If your child has experienced a mental health crisis, it can be helpful for you to have a crisis plan which can include advice on how to get help in a crisis and what services are available in the adult sector.

Get more information on services in Leeds for young adults


My child is already getting support from CAMHS

If your son or daughter is already in Leeds CAMHS they may receive the support of the transitions service within CAMHS, a dedicated service supporting young people into adult services. The transitions service will arrange to meet with the young person with their worker in CAMHS to find out what support or treatment they have already had, what the current difficulties are and work out what they may want and need from services post 18. If transitioning to specialist adult mental health services this may involve creating a transition plan so that you and your child are clear about who is taking over what aspect of care once they turn 18.

As a parent or carer of a young person in CAMHS, you may have been involved in the care and treatment or your child. In adult services, quite rightly, the emphasis falls more on the young person rather than the family as young people entering adulthood become more independent in their own care. Of course, it may be that you still play a major and important part in your son or daughter’s care and adult services will need to work out with you how you can still be involved.

My child needs to access support for the first time

Once a young person turns 18, they are no longer able to be referred into CAMHS and can be helped by Adult Services.

When deciding who might help a number of issues are taken into account such as the complexity of their need, the risk they might pose to themselves or others, or what help they may have had already, as well as what they would like to happen.

Services in the adult sector are split into voluntary, primary and secondary care and it is usual to start with voluntary or primary services before moving on to secondary services if required. Sometimes though where the risk is great, the complexity high or if the young person is in a mental health crisis, they may go straight into secondary mental health services know as Community Mental Health teams (or CMHT’s). Generally referrals can be made by the GP and would require the consent and agreement of the young person.

As a parent or carer, secondary services recognise the valuable role that you may play in the young person’s care, but they would need the permission of the young person, to be able to speak to you and share information.

For voluntary and primary with care services, young people would need to refer themselves and these services tend to deal directly with them rather than with you as a parent or carer.


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