What is CAMHS?

CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. The team have different professions including: psychiatrists (mental health specialist doctors), psychologists (specialist doctor in behaviour, thoughts and feelings), mental health, learning disability and general nurses, social workers, family therapists, youth offending justice workers, specialist support workers.

Who is it for?

CAMHS is for young people and children who experience mental health problems. Mental health problems can be common with as many as one in three children in the classroom experiencing a mental health problem and one in four of the adult population at any one time. CAMHS see people with many different mental health problems including:


Anxiety and phobias

Eating disorders –including anorexia or bulimia

Self- harm


They can also help with managing feelings.

What services do CAMHS provide?

CAMHS have several services including


Community Eating Disorder Service

Crisis and Home Treatment Team

Inpatient Services – Ash Villa

What sort of treatments are there?

There are different treatments for each condition including:

  • Psychological therapies (talking therapies) including – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), counselling, family therapy, behavioural therapy etc.
  • Medication
  • Youth offending pathway
  • Eating disorder pathways
  • Inpatient services

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

If you are worried about a mental health problem, 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 would like support from CAMHS you will need a professional to refer you on your behalf. Ask that person to support you to make that referral. If you are unsure what to say, there is an on-line check list called ‘CAMHS ready’ which will help you to make a list of all the things that you are experiencing. The list can be printed or sent using a phone or e-mail.

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)

What happens if a referral is made?

  • Once your referral has been accepted someone will contact you/parent/carer to make an appointment for your initial assessment. You will be sent an Initial Information form to fill out along with a questionnaire called The RCADS. You will be asked to bring these along to your initial assessment. This assessment can usually take up to an hour and half.
  • At this assessment you will meet a CAMHS practitioner who will complete the assessment. It is possible for you to be seen alone, with or separately from your parent/carer. They will talk to you about why you have been referred and ask you for your perspective on your current difficulties and what you would like support with.
  • They will also ask for some background history about you and also about your current mental health and wellbeing.
  • Once the assessment has been completed the practitioner will speak to you about whether they think CAMHS is the right service for you or not. If not they may let you know about other services that may be able to help.
  • If CAMHS can support you, they will discuss the type of support that is available and will agree with you what the main issue is that you need support with.
  • A care plan will then be written with you which will identify the main issues/concerns and risks. The plan will show how you will be supported by CAMHS. You will be able to decide what goes on in your care plan by discussing what options are available with the practitioner. It will acknowledge yours, your parent or carer’s and the clinician’s responsibilities. You will get a copy of this care plan.
  • You may be asked to complete an OO-CAMHS rating scale (0-10) at this appointment. This helps us to see how you feel things are going within your personal well- being, family, school/social life and everything overall.
  • The practitioner will go through a confidentiality form which will identify who we have consent to contact whilst you’re involved in the service.
  • You will be asked if you would like to receive text reminders for your future appointments.
  • Following this appointment you will be placed on our waiting list and will be contacted when a worker is available to see you.   Whilst you are waiting for treatment to start you can contact the clinician that assessed you if you need advice or support.

Where is the CAMHS service?

In Lincolnshire there are services in Lincoln, Louth, Boston, Grimsby and Grantham. If you are referred to the CAMHS service you will be seen at the service that is easiest for you to get to.