Q. When I come to see someone, how long will the meeting last?
A. Appointments are usually last 45 to 60 minutes.
Q. Do I have to be seen in the ELCAS department?
A. No. We can make arrangements to see you somewhere else like at your school, at home, health centre or Children’s Centre.
Q. Are the meetings confidential (private)?
A. Your visits to ELCAS are confidential and private to you and ELCAS, and we will always ask you first before speaking to anyone else.
We do sometimes need to talk about your worries with other people in our team, so they can help us to help you. We also need to let your doctor, and the person who referred you, know what we agreed at our first meeting.
If we are really worried about you and your safety, we may have to tell someone else outside our team, but will always try to speak with you first.
Q. Why do my parents have to know?
A. There are three reasons. Firstly, your parents are legally responsible for you until you are 16 years old, so we usually need their agreement to help you.
Secondly, your parents may benefit from ELCAS too by learning ways to help solve problems and support you better.
Sometimes it is helpful to make changes outside of the home, such as at school, and parents need to know so they can help make sure these happen.
Q. Will my friends know that I am going to ELCAS?
A. Not unless you choose to tell them.
Q. Will I need to go into a hospital to stay?
A. This depends on what your problems are and what kinds of treatments we can offer. Nearly all the young people who use our service just attend for appointments with an ELCAS worker on a regular basis.
Q. Will I be able to see the information ELCAS has about me?
A. We try to be as open as possible and share as much information with you as we go along. If you want, you can apply to see your files. Just ask your ELCAS worker for more information.
Q. Are mental health problems common for young people?
A. Probably more common that you might think. Almost everyone experiences mental health problems at some stage – worry, sadness, fear, loneliness and grief, etc. Sometimes people need a bit of extra help to deal with these feelings and thoughts.
Q. Will I be listened to?
A. It is essential that we listen to you! ELCAS staff are specially trained to listen and help you work through your thoughts and feelings. We want to know what you have to say and to understand more about the difficulties you are experiencing.
Q. Am I different to other young people?
A. Everyone is different to each other but this is a good thing. It just might feel at the moment though, that no one seems to understand you or that you don’t feel as though you have anyone to talk to. Lots of the young people we see feel exactly the same way. Just because you feel this way at this time doesn’t mean that there is something different or unusual about you.
We have lots of links to other websites which you might find helpful. Click here*(*link to resources) for more information