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What is CAMHS?

CAMHS offers help to children who feel sad a lot of the time, may be having trouble sleeping, have worries about school or find it difficult to play with friends. We also help children who don’t get on with their families, or their families don’t get on with each other.

It is OK to feel sad, worried or angry, or just like you don’t fit in. Everyone feels like this sometimes. Other people may have talked to you about this already to try and help, but if the problem is not going away and you can’t do the things you enjoy, we may be able to help you. You will meet with someone who wants to talk with you, and try out things that might help.

We will work with you and your family to understand and help you with your problems and want you to feel happy and safe when you come to see us.

Most of the things we talk about will be private, but it may help us to speak with your teachers and family you live with. To keep you safe, there may be times when we have to tell other people to try and help, but will always tell you first if this may happen.

When we receive a request for help we will offer you an appointment. When we first meet you we will spend time chatting about what has brought you here. You can tell us anything that you like about how you are feeling and what you would like to be different. We won’t think it is silly or stupid.

You may feel worried about talking on your own and may prefer to have family with you. You can ask as many questions as you like and if we use any complicated words just tell us and we can explain what we mean.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t feel like talking much at an appointment.  We want to work with you to find ways for you to feel better.

Sometimes we only need to meet you a few times, and sometimes it may take longer. We will talk about this with you when you come to see us.

We find it helpful to meet other people in the family so we can hear what they think about the difficulty.

If you think we could help you, but have not already spoken to us, you can speak to your family, ask your teacher, doctor, health visitor or Teaching Assistant. They will let us know that it’s a good idea to meet with you for a chat.

All CAMHS doctors, nurses and therapists have trained especially so that they can work with children and their families. In our team we have: psychiatrists, psychotherapists, psychiatric social workers, psychologists, specialist community mental health nurses and family therapists.

CAMHS is a safe place where we can work together to try and understand what it happening with you, and how to help you to be happier.

We work as a team and with you we can work out the best way to help you to feel better.

You can tell us at any time the things that you think we could do better, or have done well, to help you and others better. We want you to feel safe when you come to see us. If you want something to change, please tell us and we will do our best.

Useful Links

Beat provides helplines, online support and a network of UK-wide self-help groups to people in the UK to beat their eating disorders

Child line is a free 24 hour helpline for children and young people in the UK

Information about medications for young people written in straight forward language.

Have you just been referred to CAMHS and want to find out more? This website features video interviews with real clinicians and young people talking about the different types of help on offer.