CYP IAPT Principles

The adoption of key CYP IAPT principles promotes a culture of collaborative practice between children and young people; their families and carers; and all services involved in their care. Developing a culture that promotes shared decision-making is considered a key requisite to effective engagement and outcomes for service users.

The Principles Explained

The diagram below sets out the five CYP IAPT principles:

The 5 Principles of CYP IAPT

A more detailed examination of each of these principles follows:


Improving access to services, including more timely access. Many Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) now provide a self-referral option as part of their service. Monitoring how effective this process is for young people and carers should be undertaken through ongoing review of the feedback data obtained from service users.


Data relating to patient outcomes provides assurances concerning the effectiveness of the interventions provided by a service. This is achieved through the collation of information via the Mental Health Services Data Set (MHSDA) and the use of Outcome measures with service users, including questionnaires and feedback tools (see Five Year Forward View for Mental Health).


Raising awareness of mental health issues in children and young people seeks to place the agenda of promoting emotional wellbeing at the forefront of promoting healthy development. This is through increasing whole community awareness of activities that promote wellbeing, thereby reducing stigma associated with mental health.

Evidence-based interventions

The use of interventions that have been demonstrated to have clinical effectiveness in reducing symptoms, including interventions recommended by NICE. This should always be in the context of the service user’s views, so that the choice of intervention sits comfortably within their preferences and culture. This process of collaborative practices has been shown to improve outcomes for service users, alongside the use of recommended interventions and openly sharing clinical judgement.


This not only includes participation in personal care, but at all levels of service provision, including service development, recruitment and service review. The use of outcome measures is integral to personal care and is a key component of the CYP IAPT programme. They are an aid to promoting meaningful conversations about symptoms, recommended interventions and tracking progress as part of a collaborative approach. Further guidance on participation can be found in the Young Minds information pack ‘What is participation in children and young people’s mental health?’ This includes the nine participation priorities for the CYP IAPT programme.