Transitioning to College
For students with a mental health difficulty transitioning from CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), or with a diagnoses in later life - it is important to consider your options in terms of managing your mental health.
Transitioning from CAMHS
If you are transitioning from the child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) as you enter Trinity College it is important for you to decide if you will need to engage with the adult mental health services (AMHS) available.
An Irish study looking at the transition from CAMHS to AMHS published in 2015 found that problems in transitions typically disrupt continuity of care and can have a serious impact on service users. The average wait time from referral to AMHS from CAMHS was approximately 8 weeks. Please bear this in mind and start the process as soon as it is possible in conjunction with your treating team.
The study also highlighted that although 76% of the cases they reviewed were deemed to require on-going support following discharge from CAMHS, less than a third were referred. There can be many reasons for this including the students themselves not wanting to be referred. However, bearing in mind the many changes and stresses which can arise with starting college it is very important to consider a transfer of care to an adult service regardless of where you are living. This may involve parents having to advocate on their child’s behalf.
Those with ADHD where least likely to be referred to AMHS despite research showing that up to 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD continue to meet diagnostic criteria in adulthood. The ability to concentrate and manage your everyday routine is a necessity in a students’ everyday life if they are to have the best chance of reaching their potential.
For more information on this research, please see here.
Transitioning or changing AMHS
If you are already engaged with an adult mental health service prior to commencing your course and are moving to Dublin, it is worth considering whether you should remain with your local service. If you feel you have a good relationship with your local service and you feel your mental health is stable this may be your best option.
If you feel that it is not feasible to remain with your local service or that you need more regular and intensive input from a mental health service you will need a transfer of care. This transfer of care can be arranged by either your treating team or your GP. Please remember that it is important to start this process as soon as possible as it can take some time to complete.