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.

Who is it for?

Children and young people aged 0-18 (24 if they have been in the care system) who are presenting experiencing prolonged psychological distress and need support with their mental health. However, here at CAMHS we believe parents play a crucial role in their child’s life, making it important for you to be involved in your child’s treatment as much as possible.

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

Young people are also referred to CAMHS when there are immediate concerns regarding their risk to self and they need immediate support from a mental health professional.

What services do CAMHS provide?

The Core CAMHS team offer a range of evidence based treatment pathways (see below) for a range of conditions or presentations. These pathways are informed by NICE guidelines to make sure that we are providing the safest and most effective treatment possible for your child.

  • Depression,
  • General anxiety
  • Anxiety specific i.e. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Social anxiety
  • PTSD,
  • Self- harm
  • Attachment disorder (primarily for Looked after children (in care), post –adopted children or young people at risk of becoming Looked after),
  • Harmful sexualised behaviour
  • Psychosis
  • Forensic psychology assessments

Other services

CAMHS Core Team

This is the team that you will usually see on your first visit to CAMHS. This team will work with you and your child to decide what support and treatment is right for you in order to improve your mental health. This team also works with children, young people who are diagnosed with moderate- severe learning difficulties.

CAMHS Crisis and Home Treatment Team

This team will support you and your child if your child is experiencing a mental health crisis. This includes if your child is experiencing having intense thoughts of suicide, and are at risk of acting on these thoughts.

CAMHS Eating Disorder Team

This team work with you and your child is presenting with an eating disorder and/or a significant weight loss.

Ash Villa

Ash Villa is a 13 bed acute inpatient unit for young people aged 13 to 18 years. This is for young people 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 Raucby near Sleaford.