"They really can make a difference if you allow them to help"

About: Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust / Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services – Community(County)

(as the patient),

After experiencing mental health issues for a while, I was referred to CAMHS by my GP. Initially, I found it difficult to engage and I generally found anything regarding CAMHS uncomfortable. This wasn't something that went away but it definitely became easier when I started seeing a mental health nurse called Rebecca.

She seemed to understand the issues that were taking place for me without seeming to judge me for these or to disapprove of the ways in which I was coping with these feelings. Instead, she listened to me and empathized when everything felt incredibly difficult. She worked with me to remind me that there are better ways of coping when everything seems overwhelming and that life can be better. I also felt a lot of anxiety about leaving the service at eighteen and potentially trying to cope on my own or within adult mental health services. She provided a lot of reassurance which I do feel helped me to prepare for moving away from the support of Rebecca and CAMHS.

Fast forward to nearly a year later and turning nineteen in about two weeks, I am in the best place I've been in for a while. I'm also finally going to university this year to actually become a mental health nurse myself which is so exciting. There are so many things happening in my life now that feel positive, that feel right. I'm not sure that without CAMHS or the support offered by staff there that any of this would be happening.

There are those that do have a bad experience at CAMHS. And yes, bad days still happen even with support. But staff in CAMHS do want to help. They don't have a magic wand and unfortunately, there is no quick fix when dealing with mental health issues. But from my experience, they do their best to offer support and they can really make a difference if you allow them to help. It did for me.

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Response from Rebecca Keating, Team Lead Specialist Community CAMHS (North), Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Hi Gingiee,

It's lovely to hear how well you're getting on! I'm glad that you felt your experience of CAMHS was positive. I think that everyone has different ways of coping when they feel overwhelmed and it can be difficult to 'buy into' and practice new ways of coping and you did so well with that.

As with most things it can take time and there are usually a few bumps in the road but on reading your post it seems like you've continued doing really well. I hope you have a lovely 19th birthday and wish you all the best with your mental health nurse training. I hope I'll get to hear how you get on with it at some point and may even bump into you during your training.

Take care and very best wishes,


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