Let Go of Families

Stopping is harder than starting!


Our outcomes in CAMHS are often unclear. Families and children can have many areas of difficulty or challenge and so it can be hard to decide when our work is done. In every family there is work “to do” and for some mental health problems our work may never be ‘done’ due the recurrent or persistent nature of the problem. CAMHS interventions may then involve a burst of intense contact during times of acute difficulty followed by infrequent ‘booster’ contact.

For many families with multiple, complex health and social care needs it is important CAMHS does not work in isolation. Families may continue to need help and support but that does not always have to be from us. The sooner we engage EFFECTIVELY with other systems the better we can let go of families appropriately and safely.

Given that the amount and duration of work we do with families is so much more significant than the referral rate in determining the size of our waiting lists, this is probably the most important habit. It is also the one that most CAMH clinicians find most difficult to do!

So crucial is this Habit that it is reflected in two of the 10 High Impact Changes: how you ‘discharge’ people and how you manage chronic problems. This Habit is also part of the ELF that can deliver quick wins- under your control and effective.


Implementing this Habit will also help you with the following High Impact Changes for Mental Health as well as with others of the 7 HELPFUL Habits:

High Impact Change 3

Manage variation in service user discharge processes

High Impact Change 7

Apply a systematic approach to enable the recovery of people with long-term conditions

As well as with…

Flow management

This section is suitable for both inpatient and outpatient services.

Here are the next 3 items from the 7-HAT…