Three boys sitting together on a park bench. They are all looking ahead with serious expressions.

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

  • 3 min read
  • 02 September 2019

Topics mentioned: CAMHS, mental health support

About: 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? 

We asked our bloggers and Activists where they found support while they were waiting. Here's what they said.

Feelings like this don't last forever and in the end, it's great to see how much progress you've made.

Online resources

Georgie: 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 Anxiety UK was an obvious starting point.

  • Mind

    Mind is a charity offering similar services to YoungMinds, but is great for some more information.

  • Childline

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

Support from school

Tara: If you're in school, then talk to your pastoral team as they often have people dedicated to supporting mental health and might be able to help make school easier or less pressure for you.

Georgie: 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.

Books and podcasts

Georgie: 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.

Finding like-minded people can be helpful in the long run.


Luke: I found journalling really helps me. Feelings like this don't last forever and in the end, it's great to see how much progress you've made when you're feeling better.

Clubs and youth groups

Georgie: 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.

Talk to people you trust

Georgie: Talk to people you trust! Go back to your doctor or look for local charities you can get support from in the meantime.

Talking to someone about my feelings lifted a burden I didn't even realise I was carrying.

More information and advice about CAMHS

We have tips and advice to help you find the support you need. Take a look at our guides.

Where to get help

  • Shout

    Text SHOUT to 85258.

    Shout provides free, 24/7 text support for young people across the UK experiencing a mental health crisis.

    All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors.

    Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.

    Texts can be anonymous, but if the volunteer believes you are at immediate risk of harm, they may share your details with people who can provide support.

    Opening times:
  • Childline

    If you’re under 19 you can confidentially call, chat online or email about any problem big or small.

    Sign up for a free Childline locker (real name or email address not needed) to use their free 1-2-1 counsellor chat and email support service.

    Can provide a BSL interpreter if you are deaf or hearing-impaired.

    Hosts online message boards where you can share your experiences, have fun and get support from other young people in similar situations.

    Opening times:

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