Experiences of a child and adolescent mental health service
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Experiences of a child and adolescent mental health service

Nicola Evans Senior lecturer in mental health nursing, Cardiff University, Wales

To explore the experiences of children, young people and their families attending their first appointments with a child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) clinic.


Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a sample of 17 family groups who attended an outpatient clinic.


Four themes were identified: telling traumatic events, feeling the stigma associated with mental ill health, experience of being in unfamiliar territory and having a therapeutic connection.


Families attribute significant meaning to their first engagement with CAMHS. Practitioners need to be cognisant of the importance of this first encounter for families and offer clear information for children and young people before their first appointments.

Nursing Children and Young People. 29, 5, 41-45. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.2017.e832



Peer review

This article has been subject to open peer review and has been checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 22 July 2016

Accepted: 15 December 2016

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