What is CAMHS?

CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. Most of us within this team are called CAMHS Practitioners who have nursing or social work backgrounds. There are also clinical Psychologists who work in the team as well as Psychiatrists. Don’t be worried about this; they are specialist doctors who take extra interest and training in mental health. They do not wear white coats or give you injections. We also have a ADHD nurse specialist and we explain more about this role later.

Who is it for?

CAMHS is for young people and children who experience difficulties with their mental health up until the age of 18. We all have ‘mental health’ but sometimes, for many different reasons some people can find it hard to keep the positive and the negatives balanced and so may struggle with managing their emotions. At CAMHS we see young people and children with many different types of mental health difficulties such as:

  • Low mood / depression
  • Anxiety, phobia’s and obsessive thoughts and behaviours
  • Trauma
  • Self harm and thoughts of suicide
  • Eating difficulties / disordered eating, including anorexia and bulimia

What teams do we have?

  • CAMHS Core Team (This is for young people who come to see us where we work).
  • CAMHS Crisis Team (This team visit people at home when they are having a really difficult time or occassionally at the hospital).
  • Looked After Children’s Team (This team look after young people who live in local authority care with foster carers or in a residential placement).
  • Learning Disability Team (This team work with young people who have special needs and have to have extra support at home and school).
  • ADHD Team (This team work with young people who are struggling with their focus, concentration, thoughts, feelings and behaviours because of their ADHD).
  • Psychology Team (They can help work out why you might find it hard to make sense of things that you read or hear or why you feel anxious or depressed.

What treatments do CAMHS provide?

There are different treatments for various difficulties, such as:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which looks at the how the way you think about things, feel about things and behave affect each other and your day to day life.
  • Dialetical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) helps you to accept that you can’t always change difficult thoughts or feelings and gives you ways you can cope with them.
  • Group work (DBT & CBT) done in a group setting with other young people whilst supporting each other and having fun.
  • Medication (when other treatments don’t work).
  • Theraplay (a special therapy designed to help build relationship and trust with those who care for us (usually parents) and increase your own self esteem)

The CAMHS Practitioner who completes the assessment will talk to the you the most appropriate way to help.

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

If you are worried about your mental health it is important you talk to someone about how you are feeling. You may think that no one will understand how you feel, but most people have experienced mental health problems at some point in their lives. By speaking to someone who cares about you, even if they cannot offer advice themselves they will be able to help you to access support from someone who can.

Can you speak to a parent, relative, teacher, school nurse, social worker or friend?

If you feel that you cannot speak any of the people in your life right now, there are organisations that are there just to listen to you. Some of these organisations offer on-line support as well as phone support.

Don’t suffer in silence!

ChildLine – Freephone 0800 1111 (24 hours a day) www.childline.org.uk (offers confidential telephone counselling service for any child with a problem.

Get Connected – Freephone 0800 8084994 ( 7 days 1pm-11pm) www.getconnected.org.uk-
Free confidential telephone and email helpline to find young people the best help whatever the problem.

B-EAT Youth helpline 0845 6347650 (Monday to Friday evening from 4:30pm to 8:30pm and Saturdays 1:00-4:30) Email fyp@b-eat.co.uk   On line community www.b-eat.co.uk
Confidential advice for young people with an eating disorder

www.kooth.com