About our service:
What is the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)?
We are a team of specially trained workers whose job it is to improve the mental health of children and young people by helping them with the things that make them worried, upset or angry.
We have Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Paediatricians, Psychotherapist, Nurses, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists and other Clinicians working in our Team.
Sometimes we have students or trainees attached to us either working in the team or visiting our Service.
We work closely with lots of other people in the community to help you. This includes GP’s, School Nurses, Health Visitors, Teachers and Social Work amongst others.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health is about the way you think and feel; how you manage through life’s journey and cope with its ups and downs.
Who Do We See?
We see children, young people and their parents from age 5 or sometimes younger up to the age of 18.
What Type of Problems Do We See In Our team?
We often see children and young people who are experiencing a wide range of emotional and behavioural difficulties which might make it hard for them to get on with their families, school or with other young people. Examples of some of the conditions we might help children, young people and their families include:
- Mood and Anxiety Disorders, eg, Depression,Specific Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder.
- Self Harm and Suicide Attempts.
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
- Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).
- Complex Tic Disorders and Tourettes Syndrome.
- Eating Disorders.
- Significant Learning Difficulties.
- Mental Health Disorders associated with Physical Health Problems.
- Substance Misuse and Mental Health Problems.
Who Should Come To The First Appointment?
You and your family can decide who comes to the first appointment. Sometimes it helps us if the whole family come or both parents
accompany a child/young person initially. Older teenagers sometimes prefer to be seen alone or come with a friend. We may see everyone together but often like to have some time alone with a young person if they are comfortable with that.
We find it helpful to hear about the difficulties a young person might be experiencing from everyone’s point of view. We usually ask about the whole family, a young person’s early development, how school is and what their strengths are. At the end of your first appointment we will discuss with you what we think might be helpful, when we might meet again and with whom.
It is really important you tell us if you cannot attend an appointment or there are times that will be very difficult for you.
What Kind of support will we get?
We can support young people in many different ways; what kind of help they might need depends on what their difficulties are. Most young people only need to see someone in CAMHS for a short period of time, talking, listening and thinking about things that might help are what most people who come to CAMHS need.
Sometimes we don’t feel there is any need for intervention but we may recommend another agency get involved to help.
Some young people might need medicine as well and Psychiatrists (Doctors) or Nurses who have had special training will make sure you get the right kind of medicine.
We try to give families information about the difficulties the young person has when we can and also about medication if any is prescribed.
Very occasionally we might decide someone would get the best kind ofhelp if they could be in a hospital for a while. This would be somewhere usually with other young people.
We will speak to you about who you are happy for us to share information with and you will be asked to sign a consent form. You and your family doctor (or person who referred you if this is different) will be given a summary of what is being discussed and information about future plans and progress. It is usually helpful for us to contact other professionals, particularly the child’s Head Teacher or Pastoral Teacher at school to help us understand the child’s difficulties.
If issues arise about your child’s safety we may be obliged to discuss with other professionals who may then become involved. As far as possible this is done with your knowledge and agreement.
We Welcome Your views:
If you have any comments, suggestions or complaints please ask any member of staff in the Andrew Lang Unit for help.