Not Meeting the Threshold for CAMHS in Bristol

Send in the City by Jen Smith
Navigating the Special Education Needs and Disability (Send) provision in Bristol one disaster at a time

Meeting the Threshold for CAMHS in Bristol, Does Anyone?


There is no evidence of anxiety, is what I was told when I challenged a letter I received on Wednesday last week. It was from CAMHS Triage Assessment and Outreach at Barton Hill in Bristol. The referral from the GP nurse two weeks before, was rejected by a panel of people who had never met by child. The reason for this rejection was ‘CAMHS provides specialist support for moderate to severe mental health difficulties’.

When challenging their decision on the phone, they reiterated that there was no evidence of anxiety or depression in my child.

I do beg to differ. Clearly, the daily hour and a half struggle to scoop him up off the pavement in central Bristol due to severe anxiety doesn’t exist. That anxiety does seem to manifest itself mainly around going to school.

I think something that grates enormously is that I can recall sitting in a meeting with CAMHS five years ago saying what am I supposed to do when he is eleven and still refusing to go to school. I was told I was ‘catastrophising’. I am always right though.

We are now on Day 17 of missed school days since the start of term in September.

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