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Moving to adult services

A guide on what to expect when moving from child to adult mental health services.

Moving from children’s mental health services, to adult mental health services, sometimes called ‘transitioning services’, can feel like a really worrying and uncertain time. You might find that some of the language used or the schedule of sessions is different, or that the type of therapy available to you might change. This page can help you to find out more information on moving to adult services.

How are adult services different?

Every mental health service is slightly different but some people find that adult mental health services can be quite different from child mental health services.

You might find:

  • the relationship with your mental health team is different.
  • you receive more or less support than before.
  • there are different support and treatment options.
  • you’re in groups with adults a lot older than you.
  • adult services might speak to your family and caregivers less than in child services. If you still want your family to be involved, you should make this clear.
  • adult services might focus more on your diagnosis.

The difference can sometimes feel overwhelming, but we’re here to answer some of your questions about this transition period, and offer you information on how you can get support, whether you are over, or under 18.

Ask a Therapist with Judith Andrew, Harrow Horizons and Kathleen Rao, Harrow Talking Therapies

Senior Clinician at Harrow Horizons (ages 0-18), Judith Andrew, and Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner at Harrow Talking Therapies (18+), Kathleen Rao, answer questions from our young volunteers.



02:05 How do I refer to your service?

03:47 What types of therapy are available, and what are the differences between them?

06:45 How long do you provide therapy for? 08:02 What kind of difficulties do you work with?

11:44 If I am accessing CAMHS, can I also access Harrow Horizons services?

12:33 How frequently would I be seen?

13:07 What hours is your service open?

15:22 What are my options at the end of therapy?

17:34 Am I responsible for booking my own appointments?

18:56 What responsibility do I have between appointments? Is there homework?

21:35 What would happen if I missed an appointment?

23:19 Who would be involved in my care?

24:52 Can I choose or change my therapist?

26:39 Would my parents need to know?

28:07 What happens at Harrow Horizons when I turn 18? How would you prepare me for transition?

29:14 At Harrow Talking Therapies, what can I expect if I’m transitioning to you from other services?


Want to know more about Harrow Talking Therapies?

Download this factsheet to find out about what to expect from:

  • an initial assessment
  • the types of therapy available
  • confidentiality
  • difficulties Harrow Talking Therapies can support you with

Harrow Talking Therapies information sheet


Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions, suggested by our team of young volunteers, many of whom have had their own lived experience of transitioning to adult services:

Transition FAQs from young people


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Currently, during the coronavirus outbreak, our services and activities are running remotely.  We will begin to offer face-to-face activities again when we can undertake these safely.