CAMHS : Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

CAMHS are specialist NHS mental health services for children and young people.  They are formed of a series of consultants whom are specialists in this field.

CAMHS offer assessments, a diagnosis, a treatment plan and support for young people who are experiencing problems with their emotions, behaviour or mental health.

A referral is carried out by the young person’s general practitioner, a teacher or a social worker.  They should discuss a referral with you as the parent/carer of the young person themselves before it is made.  Some clinics also accept self-referrals from young people or parents/carers.

What happens at the first appointment?  The first appointment is called an assessment.  The young person will usually meet with one or two members of the CAMHS team.  They will explain how the service works and what they are able to offer the young person with regards to support.  They will also talk with the young person around important issues such as confidentiality and will begin the process of getting to know the young person and their family.

Only a doctor can decide if a young person needs to take medication.  Doctors in CAMHS are called Psychiatrists/Consultants.  The CAMHS Psychiatrist will be able to talk to those involved about whether medication is right for the young person and will ensure that all have been well informed before making a decision to pursue medication.

The Psychiatrist whom is allocated to your child will have close liaisons with the named person responsible for all the young person’s medication here at Bradstow School.  This person is Sarah Paterson (School Nurse).

Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) is used as a term for all services that work with children and young people who have difficulties with their emotional or behavioural wellbeing.

Specialist CAMHS will accept referrals of children and young people up until their 18th birthday.  There are joint adult mental health (AMHS)/CAMHS referral pathways for young people aged 16/17 years who have a more serious psychiatric disorder.

CAMHS has 4 tiers that are worked within: 

Tier 4 is a more specialised service that provides an assessment and treatment for children and young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties.

Tiers 1 to 3 are community or outpatient-based and commissioned by clinical commissioning groups and local authorities.  If a young person is prescribed medication, consent will be gained either from parents or a social worker and once this is in situ the medication will be put in place and reviewed regularly here at the School where our named consultant visits currently every 2 weeks.  Medications sometimes come in tablet or liquid form.

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