What is CAMHS?

CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). We provide support and treatment for children, young people and their families who are experiencing mental health difficulties.

The CAMHS team consists of Mental Health Nurses, Social Workers, Assistant Practitioners, Psychologists, Consultant Psychiatrists and Administrators. We also have Peer Support Workers in each team; these are workers who have had experience of mental health difficulties and accessed CAMHS themselves.

Take a look at our CAMHS service leaflet- CAMHS LincolnshireLeaflet.pdf – Adobe Acrobat Pro

Who is it for?

Children and young people aged 0-18 (24 if they have been in the care system) who are experiencing psychological distress and need support with their mental health.

CAMHS believes parents and carers play a crucial role in a child’s life, making it important for you to be involved in their treatment as much as possible.

If a child has already received support from another professional or service (GP, teacher, support worker, counsellor) and things haven’t improved, CAMHS may be able to help.

CAMHS can also assist when there are immediate concerns regarding a risk to a child or young person and they need immediate support from a mental health professional.

What does CAMHS provide?

CAMHS offers a wide range of evidence based treatments for a variety of conditions and presentations. These pathways are informed by NICE guidelines, ensuring we are providing the safest, most effective treatment possible.

Treatment pathways include:

  • Depression
  • General Anxiety
  • Specific Anxiety (such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Self Harm
  • Attachment Disorder
  • Harmful sexualised behaviour
  • Psychosis
  • Forensic psychology assessments

Our Services


Core CAMHS will usually see you on your first visit to CAMHS. The team works with children, young people, parents & carers to decide what support and treatment is right to improve their mental health.

CAMHS Crisis and Home Treatment Team

This team offers support for children and young people experiencing a mental health crisis. This includes those experiencing intense thoughts of suicide and are at risk of acting on these thoughts.

CAMHS Eating Disorder Team

This team works with children and young people presenting with an eating disorder and/or significant weight loss.

CAMHS Learning Disabilities Team

This team works with children and young people who are diagnosed with moderate to severe learning disabilities.

Ash Villa

Ash Villa is a inpatient unit for young people aged 13 to 18, who are experiencing complex mental health difficulties and cannot be kept safe in the community.

What sort of treatments are there?

For details of specific treatments that we offer, please take a look at our “about us” section for young people.

Here at Lincolnshire CAMHS we may feel that parents can play a key role in treatments. Level of involvement can vary, from family work and joining the child in therapy and/or attending review appointments.

As part of our treatment packages, we also deliver groups specifically for parents where you can meet other parents understand and learn strategies to respond to your child’s behaviours and difficulties. These include:-

Relational Awareness Programme (RAP) which is adapted from the “Nurtured Heart Programme” and is a philosophy for creating healthy relationships with children in your life. RAP focuses on understanding emotional dynamics in parent/child relationship and is an approach that is particularly useful for difficult, challenging and intense children.

Eating Disorder Parent Support Group: This group is open to parents of young people who are being supported by our Eating Disorder Team. This is an opportunity for parents to come together to get practical advice from CAMHS professionals, and to support one another.

CAMHS Parent Anxiety Group: If you child is under 13 and is experiencing symptoms of anxiety we may recommend that you attend this group with other parents whose children are experiencing similar difficulties. This group will skill you in understanding your child’s experiences, and provide strategies to help you support your child and reduce their anxiety levels.

How do I get help/who should I speak to?

As a parent/carer you cannot directly refer your child into CAMHS. If you feel that your child/young person is suffering from a mental health problem speak to your GP, social worker or school about whether a referral is appropriate and they will then make the referral for you.

If it is an emergency situation, contact 999 or go the Accident and Emergency Department.

There are lots of websites and help lines that offer support to parents. Young Minds offer free confidential online and telephone support and advice to any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25 on 0808 8025544.

Take a look at our “parent survival guide” and “worried about your child” sections for some further advice.

For more information on common mental health difficulties then please visit our “what’s worrying you” section.

For information on local and national services that also may be helpful, take a look at our “support services” page.

What happens if a referral is made?

Once a referral has been accepted, someone will contact you to make assessment appointment.  This appointment will be made within six weeks of us receiving the referral. This assessment can last up to one and a half hours.

At assessment, if your child wishes, he or she will be offered the chance to be seen for part of the assessment on their own.

Once the assessment is complete the practitioner will discuss with you and your child about whether the service is right for them or if they may need to be signposted to another service for support.

If it is felt that your child could benefit from support, then we will discuss options in the appointment and agree a way forward.

You or your child will be asked if they would like to receive text reminders for their future appointments.

Following this assessment your child will be placed on a waiting list and contacted when a suitable clinician is available to commence treatment.

Where is the CAMHS service?

The community teams are based at Lincoln, Boston, Grimsby, Louth and Grantham. The inpatient unit Ash Villa is based at South Rauceby near Sleaford.