Where to look for support while you're on the CAMHS waiting list

Waiting for your referral to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) can feel like a slow process. Where can you find support while you wait? Georgie, 15, shares her tips.

Waiting for a CAMHS referral can take a long time.

Currently, I've been on the waiting list for just over a year. Here are some of the places I've looked for - and found - support during this time:

  1. Online
    If you've made it to this blog post, chances are you've probably looked for support online already. This was my first step after being put on the waiting list. I mostly wanted to know how long I'd need to wait to reach the top of the list. To be honest, the answer was disappointing, so I turned to some online charities to help. Obviously, YoungMinds is a great place to start as it covers a range of different mental health issues. I've also found help on the following websites:

    Anxiety UK

    I have anxiety, so this was an obvious starting point.


    This charity offers similar services to YoungMinds, but is great for some more information.


    Childline has an interactive website you can get support from, which includes a helpful toolbox feature.

  2. School
    It can be scary telling people that you are struggling, but talking to your school can really help you. Chances are you aren't the only student who is struggling with their mental health, and the school probably already has some kind of internal support system. Speak to a teacher you trust, and they should be able to help you.

  3. Books and podcasts
    Reading or listening to someone else's advice can be really helpful, especially if you're looking for ways to cope. Different people deal with things in different ways, and learning about how someone else manages their mood can help you work out how to manage your own. Sometimes your GP will also recommend certain books to help with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and improving your mental health in the long run.

  4. Clubs and youth groups
    I'm a member of a few different clubs, which have given me a lot of support. Sometimes keeping yourself busy is the best option, as it gives you something to do which takes your mind off whatever you're facing. Also, finding like-minded people can be helpful in the long run. Try not to crowd yourself with activities though, because then it can become avoidance.
Talking to someone about my feelings lifted a burden I didn't even realise I was carrying.

Author: Georgie, 15

If you need urgent help, you can message the YoungMinds Crisis Messenger for free by texting YM to 85258.

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