CAMHS is the name for the NHS services that assess and treat young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties. CAMHS support covers depression, problems with food, self-harm, abuse, violence or anger, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety, among other difficulties.
CAMHS services generally support young people experiencing: sadness, low mood or depression. feelings of worry or anxiety. low confidence. problems with eating or your relationship with food. anger. problems sleeping. hearing voices or seeing things. thoughts about wanting to hurt yourself.
The most common way to get a referral is through your GP. You can discuss your worries about your child with the GP, or if your child is old enough and feels able to do so, they can see the GP themselves. The GP may offer advice, and if they think specialist help is needed, they should refer your child to CAMHS .
How long will we have to wait for a first appointment? Once the referral is received by CAMHS it will be coded as Urgent or Routine. Urgent appointments are seen within two weeks . If your referral is coded as routine, you will not wait for more than 9 weeks for a first appointment, often less.
The Assessment Process The first assessment meeting is usually 60-90 minutes long which is often enough to decide what should happen next but if needed, there can be up to 3 meetings.
Remember you don’t have to tell your parents or carers anything about your sessions that you don’t want to, including what you talk about with your therapist. If they try and insist that you tell them, or on coming to your sessions, you can ask CAMHS to explain this to them.
(1) AGE RANGE Specialist CAMHS will accept referrals of children and young people up until their 18th birthday. There are joint adult mental health (AMHS)/ CAMHS referral pathways for young people aged 16/17 years who have more serious psychiatric disorder.
Common warning signs troubled youth may exhibit and signs to look out for include: Falling grades; truancy. Extreme mood swings; volatile temper. Persistent sadness, hopelessness, loss of interest. Suicidal thoughts or actions. Self-harm such as cutting of the skin. Habitual tobacco, drug, and/or alcohol use.
We might ask you about home life, school, friends, and the kind of things you like doing, and any challenges or problems . It is often important for parents and carers to be included in this discussion, but there will also be time for you to talk alone with your CAMHS clinician, if you’d like to.
This appointment is usually one hour long ; however, it tends to go past very quickly.
What can the crisis team do for me? The team respond to the immediate mental health needs of young people, offering short term help, either at home or in the community, and will stay involved until there is a resolution of the immediate crisis .
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service ( CAMHS ) Pathway. If the child or young person has mental health difficulties in addition to signs of autism , they may be assessed and receive a diagnosis through the CAMHS pathway.
Reason for referral : What are the specific difficulties that you want CAMHS to address? How long has this been a problem and why is the family seeking help now? Is the problem situation-specific or more generalised? What risks are there to the young person, their family or others if this problem is not addressed.
One other bugbear is that CAMHS are not able to visit families at home and see the young people in their real-life contexts.
They will ask you a series of questions to better understand your current difficulties and to get to know your child and family, explain to you how the service works and discuss important issues such as confidentiality. At the end of the assessment , we’ll talk through what happen’s next.