What if your child doesn’t want to attend?

Sometimes children or young people are worried about their first appointment because they don’t know what to expect. They might be worried about being blamed for problems, being embarrassed, other people finding out, or even being taken away from the family.

Please show them the Young Persons Guide to CAMHS film, for young people by young people on our Films page. It will hopefully put them at ease and let them know what to expect.


If you can offer gentle, positive reassurance, this might be enough to calm a young person’s fears. Sometimes, however, a child may be so anxious that they still refuse to attend, or they may be very angry with parents and may refuse as a way of punishing them.


CAMHS SignIf reassurance does not work, parents can arrange to attend an appointment on their own and discuss the situation with a member of our team. This often gives a strong message to a young person that parents care enough about them to go to the appointment even if they are not there. This can encourage a young person to feel happier about attending appointments in future.