What we feel the barriers are to accessing mental health services.

As CAMHS Youth Advisors and ATLAS members, we share what we feel are the barriers to accessing mental health services in Surrey:


“Stigma against different backgrounds or ethnic backgrounds and cultures.”

“Maybe self-stigma – I don’t really wanna go and talk about it like being scared to reach out.”

“Being scared to open-up emotions and feelings”

Additional Needs & Disabilities

“So I went to the university’s centre for wellbeing and spoke about mood and everything and they were like ok. And I said I had a chronic pain condition and get turned away. I know chronic pain and mental health can be linked so I wasn’t sure about the reasoning behind that one.”

 “Your diagnosis of Autism is often through CAMHS, but their BEN pathway finishes at diagnosis. So even if you go into Adults, they don’t have an equivalent BEN pathway. SO it’s not seen as a mental health condition just problems with being Autistic. So, they get scared of comorbidity. In my opinion they lack the models to engage with Autistic people with Mental Health Problems. For example, CBT does not work for Autistic people and many places in Surrey do not offer anything else. They don’t take into effect how your Autism affects your mental health.”

“Co-morbidity training and Disability Awareness”

“CBT is rooted so much into what professionals learn and is the cheapest option – however it doesn’t work for many people who are neurodiverse: other forms of therapy need to be considered via co-production.”

“Giving people a variety of different ways to communicate not just through words but actions as well.”

“The environment is not very friendly to sensory needs”


“Stuff you don’t want shared with your parents/guardian confidentiality and trust in services with things you don’t want them to know.”

“Confidentiality is a massive barrier.”

“Making sure that people know how what is happening with the information they share.”

Waiting Times & Responses

“Waiting times is a thing!! Definitely a barrier to getting to support.”

“Not getting responses from online/telephone services.”

“Waiting times to access a service”


“Thresholds make it difficult to access a service”

“If you are not suicidal or haven’t attempted they don’t seem to really care.”


“Travel to where services are”


“Language barriers. Those happen because lot of the time, you will have a patient who speaks really good English and understand, but the parents may not have good English and therefore may not be able to understand.”

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