Table 3

After the psychosocial assessment: themes and exemplar quotations

Hope‘Before and during, I felt ashamed, like a fraud and saddened that I was putting my family and friends through all this, and even more so that I was now putting a drain on resources that could off been used for someone else who needed it more than I. After, I felt supported by family with me and the action plan we had all discussed. I felt there was a glimmer of hope in all the darkness’ (R113, female, age 35–39 patient).
Harm‘I felt that there was no room to explore what was actually going on, that I was given little opportunity to express myself, and like the whole process was a bit of a tick-box exercise, rather than a supportive conversation or a way to come up with helpful suggestions. 9 times out of 10 these assessments left me feeling worse’ (R101, female, age 30–34 years, patient).

‘The RAID assessment made me feel listened to and gave me a next step. But the next step was pointless. I was back home feeling like nothing changed. So, I felt in many ways worse’ (R70, female, age 25–29 years, patient).

‘They tell you to simply go listen to music or have a bath and then discharge you and as a result, you attempt to end your life’(R30, female, age 18–24 years, patient).
Help-seeking and engagement‘I felt judged whilst being asked questions about how I was feeling, and like I was being misunderstood and like I wasn't being taken seriously. And after the assessment and after discharge from A&E the vague advice I had been given made me even less likely to return to A&E in future’ (R09, non-binary, age 18–24 years, patient).