The service takes a psychiatric and systemic perspective on the mental health difficulties experienced by anyone under 18.  ‘Psychiatric’ means looking at mental health difficulties from a medical point of view.  ‘Systemic’ means taking account of the impact of these difficulties on the family and the impact of the family of the difficulties. Similarly, with friendships; and also with school or College or employment.  This adds up to three or more different ‘systems’.  This all means that, before we can agree any plans for treatment, we must join in a thorough assessment.

The assessment will focus on your main concerns, but involves lots of questions, to ensure we do not miss anything important.  You don’t have to answer any questions you don’t want to.  The aim is to reach a shared understanding of how things have developed and how they might improve.  This will nearly always involve at least one person with Parental Responsibility, and usually other family members.  Sometimes, with your consent, we may ask someone from the school, or a close friend.

Once the initial assessment session, which usually lasts at least 90 minutes, is nearing completion, we will discuss what to do next.  This may involve further assessment, referral elsewhere, or treatment with this service. 

Once the assessment is complete, a detailed assessment report will be sent to you in draft form, for your comments.  Either the full version or a shortened version can be prepared for other professionals, and probably an even shorter version for the GP, who needs to know that Oxford Youth and Family Practice is involved, and to what purpose. 

Expert Witness Psychiatric assessment is also available, after discussion.