Moving to new services

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Key points

  • There are times in life when you may need to move to a different mental health service or need different types of support.
  • These include when you become an adult and when you grow older.
  • Change can be difficult, but there are ways you and your support network can prepare for moving to a new service.


Becoming an adult


If you see mental health workers at a child and adolescent service, you will need to move to adult services around the time you turn 18 years old, but for some people, it is earlier or later. 

Planning for moving to adult services should start from your early teens.

  • You and your parents, carers, or support workers should be involved in planning.
  • Mental health workers have some responsibilities. Responsibilities are things they need to do.
    • Your mental health workers should discuss with you the best adult services for you, help you find and get an appointment with the service, and speak to your new mental health worker (if that is OK with you).
    • Your current mental health worker can transfer any health records to your new service if you and your parent or guardian agree. A guardian is a person who helps you make decisions about parts of your life when you cannot make decisions by yourself. 
  • It can help to have a meeting with both your current and new mental health workers.
  • You might go to your first few appointments at the adult service while you are still in touch with your current mental health worker. You can then discuss with your current mental health worker how it went.


  • To help you prepare for moving to an adult service, you could start writing down or making your appointments.
  • If a parent or support worker usually stays with you during appointments, you could try communicating with your mental health worker alone for part of the session. You do not have to do this, only if you feel comfortable.


Things people find hard about moving to adult services and what to do

  • Adult services can be harder to find than child and adolescent services.
    • Your current mental health worker should help you find an adult service that is right for your needs. If they cannot, ask your GP, or see if family or friends can suggest anyone.
  • Child and adolescent services are often well planned and have a team of people who can help you. Adult services are often separate, and mental health workers may not work together. This can be a big change.
    • If you would like your health and mental health workers to work together more closely to plan your care, you can discuss this with them. For more information visit Working with your team.
  • Sometimes people find that their new adult service is not working for them and stop going. They may no longer get the help that they need.
    • Going to the first couple of appointments at your new adult service while still seeing your child and adolescent mental health worker can help prevent this. If you do not think the new adult service will work for you, you can discuss this with your current mental health worker.


Growing older


Thinking about the future

Planning for when you get older is important. People often think about what will happen when they get older and who will care for them if their parents cannot do so anymore.

You may think about:

  • who will help you with money
    • you can discuss whether you want to set up a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is a legal document that says someone can make money and legal decisions for you. Legal decisions are to do with the law. There is more information for people who live in NSW here.
    • the Council for Intellectual Disability has an information guide about how to Manage your money.
  • who will make decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself
    • there are some Easy Read resources on guardianship for people who live in NSW here. A guardian is a person who helps you make decisions about parts of your life when you cannot make decisions by yourself.
    • there are Plan Ahead Days across NSW. You can book to discuss issues such as guardianship and Power of Attorney.
  • advance care planning. Advance care planning means making decisions about the health care you want. This plan will help if you cannot communicate anymore.
    • an Advance Care Directive lets people know what medical treatment you want if you are very sick or dying. An Advance Care Directive is something written. It tells people what you want to happen.
    • read more about Advance Care Directives in this NSW Health Talking about death and dying Easy Read booklet.
    • NSW Health has a Making an Advance Care Directive booklet. Please note this booklet is not in Easy Read. You may want to ask someone to look at it with you.
  • what will happen with your National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) supports
    • if you were an NDIS participant before you turned 65, you may keep getting disability supports under the NDIS or get supports from the Commonwealth Aged Care System. This depends on whether you move into aged care or get home care.
    • Discuss this with your NDIS Support Coordinator for more information.

You may also have other questions.

  • You can discuss these questions with someone you trust.
  • It is good to make a plan.


Infographic things to think about when growing older


Mental health services for older people

If you use mental health services, some services provide care just for older people.

In NSW, these are called Older People’s Mental Health services. They mostly provide care to people over 65 years old. People under 65 years can use these services if it suits their needs. First Nations peoples (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples) 50 years and older can use these services.

Older People’s Mental Health services provide help for:

  • older people in the community
  • older people who must go to hospital for their mental health
  • aged care homes and programs.

You can ask your GP or mental health worker for more information about Older People’s Mental Health services.


  • The Council for Intellectual Disability has Easy Read a worksheet that can help you Manage your money.
  • There is information on Power of Attorneys for people who live in NSW here.
  • There is information on guardianship for people who live in NSW here.
  • There are Plan Ahead Days across NSW. You can book to discuss issues such as guardianship.