The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is a mental health assessment and therapeutic service for children and young people up to the age of 18 and their families. The service is based at Liberté House on La Mottee Street.
We offer assessment, diagnosis and treatment for children and young people suffering from:
- emotional difficulties
- behavioural difficulties
- relationship difficulties
- developmental difficulties
- other mental health disorders (eg psychosis, eating disorders)
What can CAMHS help with?
CAMHS can help with a range of difficulties which impact on day-to-day activities. These can include:
- low mood or sad thoughts and feelings which do not go away. These can be caused by trauma (possibly following separation, loss or abuse) or severe depressive illness (which may involve thoughts of self harm)
- worries and concerns eg anxiety disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder (rituals and repetitive thoughts that will not go away)
- brain development disorders eg attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, social and communication difficulties, and tic disorders
- other illnesses which are less common in young people eg anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, bipolar disorder and psychosis
You can arrange a referral to the service by talking to one of the following professionals:
- General practitioners (GPs)
- consultant paediatricians / hospital doctors
- health visitors and school nurses
- school counsellors
- educational psychologists / inclusion and early intervention team
- social workers
- youth action team / residential services
- Educational needs co-ordinator
If they think we can be of help they will write to us to tell us about the problems you are having. We will normally then write to you for further information. The referral is considered by the team who will then offer an initial assessment, suggest a more appropriate service or provide you with written advice.
If you're offered an initial assessment, then you'll either have an appointment with a member of our team or another agency.
At the initial assessment you will meet with one or two of the CAMHS team members. The initial assessment allows us to gather more information and assess any concerns so that a plan of therapeutic intervention can be developed. This may take place with CAMHS or with other services.
The CAMHS team members include:
- child and adolescent psychiatrists
- specialist CAMHS nurses
- social workers
- clinical psychologists
After the initial assessment
After the initial assessment, we can offer a variety of treatments or refer you to more appropriate agencies. Treatment may include:
- individual therapy
- family therapy
- parent counselling
- group therapy (where children, young people or carers with similar difficulties are seen together in groups)
The person you meet with will depend on your needs. We often work with schools, the Children’s Service and other agencies that work with young people, to assist them to help you.
Appointments are generally at Liberté House (this may take place with CAMHS or with other services), although home or school visits may be offered in certain circumstances.
CAMHS is open between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. We try to arrange appointments at convenient times, although most appointments take place during the normal working day.