What is discharge from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
Discharge from CAMHS means that you will no longer have appointments in CAMHS. Your G.P and other professionals will be told about your discharge, usually by letter.
How is discharge decided?
Discharging from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) will be discussed with you as a family. A good discharge should be a joint decision that everyone agrees with. Reasons for discharge are:
If the young person reaches 18 years and requires transfer to adult mental health services to continue their care, there is a transfer process and transfer care plan, information about which can be found here:
What if we need to be re-referred again?
If you need to be referred again in the future your G.P can do this so you can start a new treatment episode with the team. Often you will work with the same therapists as before, but this will be discussed with you at the first appointment.
What is recovery?
Full recovery can be summarised within 3 areas:
Full recovery also means that young people lead a normal life for someone their age. The majority of young people who have had eating disorders will fully recover and be discharged when fully recovered. Partial Recovery is when young people continue to have some eating disorder symptoms, see examples below:
In partial recovery the young person, in other ways is managing to have a fairly normal life, for example they are going to school and having satisfactory social lives. It is possible that a decision is made to discharge a young person even though they are only in partial recovery. The risk of a relapse into a more severe eating disorders is higher if discharge occurs in partial recovery.
What is relapse?
A relapse of the eating disorder is when symptoms; physical, behavioural and psychological, worsen again. Relapse is not failure and is often considered part of the cycle of recovery.
When might it happen?
It mostly happens in the 1st year of apparent recovery, although it can happen within the 1st 5 years after recovery. Young people are especially vulnerable at times of stress.
Who might relapse?
Those who are not in full recovery are more at risk of relapse. Although of those that fully recover we do not know why some people relapse whilst others do not. There will be some relapse in approximately 1 in 3 young people.
What do we do if relapse occurs?
Before discharge a relapse plan is likely to have been put in place. Its content will be very individual to the young persons needs.
What I need to do to prevent set backs?
Examples might be: eat regularly, beware of exercising alone, and do not comparing myself to others, keep meeting up with friends and maintaining my interests.
What might increase the risk of set backs for me?
Examples might be: weight changes, going to university, feeling alone.
What are my early warning signs of a relapse?
Examples might be: Changes in eating; not eating certain foods, not eating regularly, avoiding eating out. Thinking about weight and shape issues; dissatisfaction with weight and shape and wanting to change it. Physical changes; weight changes, menstrual cycle changes etc
My action plan for dealing with signs of relapse
Examples might be: Identify what is happening, talk about it to Mum/Dad, and get a plan in place straight way that deals with the areas that have changed. For example; eat regularly, stop exercise/vomiting, keep talking about difficulties, stop watching food programmes on television, and go out with friends.
If your relapse plan has been mislaid there is work book and relapse plan here you can fill in.
Acting quickly with the relapse plan should improve things quickly. If you have any concerns, even though you have been discharged from CAMHS, your case coordinator or therapist would be happy to give you advice and support or the Connect-Eating Disorder Team (0141 277 7407)
There are other support lines such as those at
If there are no improvements within a short period of time, re-referral should be strongly considered.