What is CAMHS?

CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). We support young people aged 0-18 (or up to 24 if you have been in the care system) who are experiencing mental health difficulties and are finding it hard to cope with everyday life

Our teams are made up of a variety of professionals. Many are called CAMHS practitioners and have a nursing, social work, or support worker background.  There are also Clinical Psychologists in each team, along with CAMHS Psychiatrists (these are Specialist Doctors who take extra interest and training in children and young person’s mental health).

As well as this, we also have integrated Peer Support Workers within the teams.  These are people with lived experience of mental health challenges and accessing CAMHS.  They provide a valuable support network to our service users.

What do we help with?

Usually when we are sad, angry, stressed or worried these feelings gradually pass with time and with support from people around us e.g. family, friends, school, support workers. However, if these feelings go on for a long time and start to really affect your everyday life, then CAMHS may be able to help you.

At CAMHS we see young people with many different types of mental health difficulties such as:

  • Low mood and Depression
  • Anxiety, including phobia’s and obsessive thoughts and behaviours
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Self-harm and thoughts of suicide
  • Eating disorders, including anorexia and bulimia
  • Psychosis

What teams are there?

  • CAMHS Core Team:  This is the team that you will usually see on your first visit to CAMHS.  This team will work with you to decide what support and treatment is right for you in order to improve your mental health.
  • CAMHS Crisis and Home Treatment Team:  This team will support you if you are experiencing a mental health crisis.  This includes if you are having intense thoughts of suicide, and are at risk of acting on these thoughts.
  • CAMHS Eating Disorder Team:  This team work with you if you are presenting with an eating disorder and/or a significant weight loss.
  • Ash Villa: This is a 13 bed unit for young people aged 13 to 18 years. This is for young people who are experiencing complex mental health difficulties who’s needs are best met in an inpatient setting

What will happen at my first appointment?

We know coming to your first appointment at CAMHS can be scary – you don’t always know what to expect.

Because we have the word ‘mental’ in our name, lots of people get worried about coming because of the stigma attached to the word “mental.”

We use the word to describe all the things that go in your mind and to describe how somebody is feeling.

To us, mental health means the same as physical health – we want you to look after your mind as you would the rest of your body.

To learn more about what goes on in your first appointment, check out our FAQ page 

You can also listen to our CAMHS Peer Support Worker, Becky, answer some of your questions.

As a Peer Support Worker, Becky accessed support from CAMHS when she was younger and now uses this experiencesto help others going through this process.

Is an assessment like a test?

Your appointment / assessment is a chance for you to talk to your CAMHS worker about what’s happening. 

It gives you the opportunity to find out more about us and what we provide.

A CAMHS worker will talk with you about your experiences and worries.  We may ask stuff about your early life, family, when your problems started and what you’d like to happen.  We like to hear about your interests and things you enjoy.

We will not expect you to talk about something you don’t want to. We understand you may be nervous meeting somebody new; we try to make you feel as comfortable as possible.

What you talk about in the appointment will not be shared with anybody else, unless you give us permission or we are worried about your safety.

If you tell us something that makes us concerned for your safety, we have a duty of care to protect you.

During your assessment, you may be asked to complete some forms or questionnaires.  These can help both you and the CAMHS worker make sense of what is going on.

At the end of your appointment, your CAMHS worker will talk with you about what will happen next.

Still unsure about something?

Check out our FAQ page 

What treatments are there?

Here at CAMHS we offer what are called “care pathways”.  This means that if you are experiencing a mental health difficulty and need our support, we will recommend the therapy that is likely to give you the best outcome, based on medical evidence and guidelines.

However we also recognise that everybody is different, so if you came to CAMHS it is really important that we work together with you to decide what kind of help and treatment is right for you.

These are some (but not all!) of the types of treatments offered at CAMHS.

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT)
  • Group work (DBT & CBT) delivered in a group setting with other young people.
  • Eye Movement Desensitisation And Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Medication
  • Family work

Where are the teams?

If you are referred to the CAMHS service you will be seen by the team that is easiest for you to get to.

There are teams in Lincoln, Louth, Boston, and Grantham.

We try to make all our locations as accessible and friendly as possible. We have put together a gallery so you can take a look at some of them:

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

If you are are stuggling and feel like you need support, it is important that you talk to somebody about how you are feeling. You may think that no one will understand how you feel, but most people have experienced difficulties with their mental health at some point in their lives.

Can you speak to a parent, relative, teacher, support worker/social worker or friend? By telling somebody you are struggling to cope, they can help you work out what support you need.  Check out our tips on how to look after yourself.

So we can help you will need a professional to refer you to CAMHS.  This could be someone like a teacher or support staff from school, your GP, or a social worker.

Don’t suffer in silence!

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

Get Connected – Freephone 0800 8084994 ( 7 days 1pm-11pm) 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 The site includes an on line community and provides confidential advice for young people with an eating disorder.

KOOTH – Free, safe and anonymous online support for young people (Monday to Friday 12pm-10pm, Saturday-Sunday 6pm – 10pm)