What is CAMHS?

CAMHS offers assessment and support to children, young people and their families with moderate to severe emotional, behavioural and mental health difficulties.

We assess, and where possible find ways of working with, the child or young person and those who look after them, in understanding and dealing with their problems in order to achieve change.

We aim to provide a service that respects the beliefs of those who use the service and is sensitive to their culture, race and gender.

Who are we?

All CAMHS clinicians have a relevant professional qualification and experience in working with children, young people and their families. Members of the team include: psychiatrists, psychotherapists, psychiatric social workers, psychologists, specialist community mental health nurses and family therapists.
We work as a team and draw on our different skills and what the evidence says works, to provide the most appropriate help.

What do you think?

Whilst you are being seen by the service you will be asked to complete various questionnaires at regular intervals. These will ask you about how things are going, whether things are improving and what you think about the service you are receiving. The information you give us will enable us to track your progress and review your care plan with you.

What will happen first? 

When we receive a request for help this will be discussed at our referral meeting to decide who you will be seeing. At the first appointment we will spend time talking about the reasons you are here. We will listen to you and you can tell us anything you like about how you are feeling, asking as many questions as you like. This is a safe environment and we want to help you. We find it helpful to meet other members of your family so we can hear what they think about the difficulty but we will also talk to you separately. You may prefer if it is just you at the appointment and this is fine, just let us know.

Who do we talk to?

After the first meeting it might be helpful to speak to your GP, teachers, social worker or other professionals involved with you and your family. We would only do this with your permission.
This is a confidential service. We will only discuss your case with another service if you have given us permission or if we have serious concerns about a young person's safety.

How do we try to help?

You will meet with one or more members of the team who will talk to you about the difficulties you have been having, what you would like to be different and how CAMHS might help.

We look at how we can use your own and your family’s strengths, skills and abilities to help the situation. We will then discuss with you how we will work together with you on the problems you have identified and the goals you want to achieve.

Sometimes only a few meetings are needed, sometimes it may take longer. 

Help us get it right

If you have any complaints, concerns, comments or compliments please let us know. We learn from all comments we receive and use the information to improve our services. This could include letting us know about something that went well, changing your worker, withdrawing your consent to treatment or that you would like a second opinion.

If you have a concern, please speak to a member of staff or you can speak to a senior clinician or the service manager.

You can contact our confidential PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) on 0800 783 4839.

If you wish to make a complaint or a suggestion, you can also call 0800 085 8354 free of charge or see the Trust website: www.elft.nhs.uk/ for other ways to communicate with us.