Would I Attend Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)? Fourteen to Sixteen Year Olds Decide



Background:  Research indicates minors over 14-years have capacity, yet, in England and Wales, only over-16s are legally presumed able to consent. This study compared 14/15- and 16-year-olds’ decision-making about attending CAMHS.

Method:  Questionnaire-based study of 1129 14–16-year-olds.

Results:  Fewer 16-year-olds think parents contribute to decision-making. There were no significant differences between 14/15- and 16-year-olds in relation to thinking they have the final say, voluntariness or information preferences. Four-fifths wanted a range of information and thought it should be provided to all young people, not just those referred.

Conclusions:  14/15-year-olds are as likely as 16-year-olds to be able to consent to attending CAMHS.