From CAMHS to AMHS – “Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can…”

In the last few months having turned 18, I have been through the transition from CAMHS to Adult mental health services. When I first knew this was happening I looked online to see how others found transition, but for some reason I could not find anything. So here I am to fill the internet gap and hopefully enlighten someone in the same position I was.
At first, when it was mentioned, I was reluctant; with the idea of being trapped in the ‘system’, having to start therapy again with new people and the fear of mental illness dictating my life.

However, after much anxiety I came to terms with the idea and realised I could not fight this on my own without support from services…. A meeting was then set up with my CAMHS team and someone from the Adult Eating Disorder service. It was strange knowing someone I had never met before would soon be helping me with some of my most personal struggles..

For me I was lucky my transition was quite smooth. I had a few meetings with CAMHS and the new Adult Eating Disorder Service and then one with my new psychologist in a familiar setting (CAMHS). I thought the idea of meeting in a ‘familiar setting’ was pointless but when it actually come to going to the new place for my first appointment I missed my first appointment because I was consumed by overwhelming anxiety.

I felt bad for wasting his time, but luckily for me my new psychologist was very understanding and after a phone call we agreed a way to make it easier. I think this was a turning point for me and the moment I realised he just wanted to help.

Having now been under the Adult Eating disorder service for almost a month (without Camhs aswell) I am finally beginning to feel more comfortable to open up and some things are already starting to improve. I suppose in contrast from a year ago I have come a long way – with not revealing what was under the surface to family/ friends/ or professionals I had known for a while – to now opening up to someone completely new.

I think the most valuable part of my recovery so far is learning to connect with my backlog of emotions, which on some days feels impossible. Things aren’t exactly smooth but opening up about what’s truly going on has allowed me to access the right help. I bottled things up for years but now I am beginning to face the reality.

I’m learning to focus on the small accomplishments. Getting up, having breakfast, going to school. These small victories stop me from denying credit of accomplishing things. Because no matter how insignificant things might seem at the time recovery is all about the small steps.
“Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can…”

13 thoughts on “From CAMHS to AMHS – “Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can…”

  1. Celebrate your small steps. They’re vital to finding your Path in life.

    “The moment that he Begins to walk along it, the Warrior of the Light recognizes the Path.” [Warrior of the Light: A Manual by Paulo Coelho]


  2. What a great post, and no matter what it is one is recovering from the last line is so powerful and exact:
    “Start where you are, use what you have and do what you can…”
    Peace, Harlon


  3. We’ve never met in real life, but this post made me feel proud of you anyway. You’re being so very brave. Sending you good wishes through the Internet!


  4. What a beautiful realization that you came to. Those small steps definitely mean way more than we often realize and deserve just as much acknowledgement as the big ones. I don’t know you but I feel proud of you already lol.


  5. Hi, I’m doing my PhD on the transition from CAMHS to AMHS, and have a questionnaire for young people who have experienced this transition: I’d really pleased if you’d like to get involved with my research and/or share the questionnaire (it’s all anonymous). I’m @KateMasseyChase on twitter or on email, if you wanted to get in touch.
    p.s. I also have a questionnaire for the parents/carers of young people who’ve been through this transition, if you’d be interested in sharing that too?


  6. Hi, this is a great post! I’m suffered mental health issues for many years, but now actually work for a homelessness charity, and I work with a lot of people who access CAMHS and AMHS.. and I understand (to a degree) the issues people deal with transitioning from one service to the other. I think your blog is great and look forward to reading more 🙂


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