Young people have told us that they often feel anxious before their first appointment because they do not know what to expect. This page can help answer questions you may have before coming to the Wellbeing Service. It’s important you know that you can also ask the team questions at this stage and throughout your time spent with us.
How do I get an appointment?
Usually, after talking it over with you, your general practitioner (GP), teacher or someone who is concerned about your emotional wellbeing will contact us to ask us to see you. They might write a letter to us or complete a referral form explaining the reasons why they think it would be helpful for you to be seen. We also accept self-referrals, which means that you or your parent can contact us directly to make an appointment.
If you’re not sure how to start a conversation with your GP about your emotional health, try the award-winning Doc Ready app. It can help you plan what to say and create a checklist of things to take so that you don’t get sidetracked.
How long will I have to wait for an appointment?
There can be a wait between the referral being made and your first appointment. How long this will be can vary but we will always see you as quickly as we can. To check when your first appointment is likely to be, please phone us and we may be able to provide you with a rough idea of when you are likely to be seen. The maximum wait time for an intervention is currently running at 10-12 weeks; you will be offered an assessment before this to ensure that we can offer the right service for you.
If you become worried about your safety or the safety of others around you, or you need to be seen in an emergency before your first appointment, you should go directly to your GP or local hospital accident and emergency (A&E) department.
Can I change my appointment?
Yes. If you’re not able to able to attend your appointment please let us know as soon as possible. We can then offer that appointment to someone else and make another appointment for you at a time that is more convenient.
Where will the appointment take place?
Appointments usually take place at our local buildings in central Bromley, but can sometimes happen at other places such as school. We will talk with you about where it’s best to meet.
Who will I meet?
At your first appointment, you will meet a member of our team who will ask you a range of questions that will help them to understand your current difficulties. This is often called an ‘assessment’. If you or your parents are not confident speaking English, they can arrange for an interpreter to be there.
Will my parent(s), carer(s) or family be involved?
At an assessment, young people are seen with their parents or carers and/or by themselves. It can be helpful to have family members involved to get their ideas about what’s going on. They can also help support any changes you might want to make.
However there might be things you want to talk about privately (see below).
Your first appointment with the Wellbeing team is a chance for you to talk to them about what’s happening. It also gives you the opportunity to find out more about them and the service that they provide.
Your practitioner might ask you some questions like the ones below:
- What difficulties are you currently experiencing?
- How long has the problem been around?
- Who’s in your family and how do you all get on?
- What is life like at school and with your friends?
- How has your mood been recently? Have you been feeling low or stressed?
- Are you, or is anyone around you, worried about your safety?
- What were you like when you were growing up?
- What has your life been like so far?
- Which things you are good at and enjoy?
- What would you like to change or achieve by coming here?
- What type of help would you prefer?
You don’t have to answer all the questions that they ask and you can also ask them questions. You only have to talk about what you want to talk about. It helps to be frank and open, but if you are not ready to discuss some issues, you don’t have to. You can always bring a friend or family member to an appointment to support you.
At the end of your appointment, your practitioner will talk with you about what happens next. With your agreement, it may be that we will need to refer you on to other services that may be more helpful for you.
Routine Outcome Measures
You and/or your parent/carers will be asked to complete questionnaires to aid our understanding of your difficulties when you first contact us. This will help us to get a better picture from your perspective. Throughout our work together you may be asked to complete session rating scales, symptom trackers or goal trackers. These all aid our practice and our understanding of your needs and are optional to complete. Please take a look at our leaflet for more information:
If you have difficulty completing the questionnaires or have any questions please contact us.
What is privacy?
Privacy means that what you tell us is kept as private as possible – it is also known as ‘keeping confidentiality’. The only exception to us keeping confidentiality is if we become concerned about your safety or the safety of others. We will always try to discuss with you who we need to talk to and what we’re going to say, in a supportive and open way.
Usually the person who has asked us to see you and your doctor (GP) will know that you are coming here. It’s up to you whether or not you tell other people that you are coming.
We don’t talk to other people about you without discussing it with you first. Some young people find it helpful to let their school or others know so that people around them are more aware that they are having a difficult time. We can do this for you if you want.
Will you tell my parents what I say?
We realise that there are things you might want to talk about that you might not want your parents to know. We respect this, and what you tell us in individual meetings stays private unless we become very concerned about your safety or the safety of others. Before sharing anything with your parents we would always aim to talk with you about it first.
If you have any other questions about privacy or confidentiality please talk to your Wellbeing practitioner.