Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
Our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Herefordshire provides specialist mental health services for children and young people aged from birth to their 18th birthday and their families/carers. They should live in the county and be registered with a Herefordshire GP. This includes children and young people with a diagnosed learning disability.
The CAMHS team receive referrals from people who work closely with children and young people such as GPs, school nurses, health visitors, social workers, specialist staff within schools and paediatricians. Usually parents, carers or professionals will have noticed that a child or young person has emotional difficulties such as:
- Problems with relationships with family, friends or at school
- Feeling depressed, anxious, self-harming or problems with eating
- Experience of a traumatic event in their lives which is affecting them
CAMHS clinicians are trained and qualified to understand children and young people’s emotional and mental health difficulties and are good at listening. They work in partnership, with the family, with a child or young person individually, in groups or directly with professionals. They understand the complexity of family life and the challenges that children and young people face when growing up.
CAMHS clinicians include: psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, psychotherapists and art therapists. Usually they work as a team though they will have different skills and expertise.
Therapies and interventions that are provided include: family work, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), specialist assessments for ASD, ADHD, self-harm and suicidal thoughts, psychosis and eating disorders.
CAMHS clinicians monitor the effectiveness of their work using feedback forms called routine outcome measures (ROMs). Children and young people will share in planning and monitoring their progress and will be supported to achieve their goals.
CAMHS can be contacted on 01432 842233.
What happens when a referral is made to CAMHS?
Referrals are screened, to make sure they are suitable and to identify urgent referrals. When a referral is accepted the family or young person will be invited to make a CHOICE appointment. Other professionals may also be invited to this appointment.
The CAMHS clinicians will ask about the difficulties and give children, young people and families/carers an opportunity to say what has been happening and what help they want. At the end of the discussion the CAMHS clinician will identify options to take forward. This may mean attending further appointments at CAMHS, or a referral to another service better suited to the circumstances.
Sometimes a one-off meeting is all that is needed.
What happens if work with CAMHS continues?
If further appointments are agreed, a CAMHS clinician will work with the child or young person in partnership. A course of treatment will usually be for 7-10 sessions. Sometimes more sessions may be needed or less if difficulties reduce quickly. The CAMHS clinician will complete an assessment and together with the child or young person will agree a care plan which will show what work has been agreed and how often appointments will be.
What happens if patients are prescribed medication?
Sometimes a child or young person would benefit from taking medication. This will be discussed with the child or young person, their family/carers and an explanation given about how it will help. Medication is prescribed and reviewed by psychiatrists and specially trained nurses.
All the information given in CAMHS appointments is confidential. Usually only theperson who made the referral and the GP will know about the appointments.
It can be helpful to share information, for example with schools or other health staff. The CAMHS clinician will discuss the information to be shared and ask children, young people and their families/carers for consent to share. Sometimes young people do not want to share their information with their parents/carers. This can be identified in the referral. The CAMHS clinician will discuss this with the young person to understand more about their circumstances and assess whether they are competent to make that decision for themselves.
If there are concerns that a child or young person may be at risk of harm, CAMHS will always share this information with the relevant agencies, though we would hope to inform the child or young person and their family/carers about the referral
and the reasons for this.
Referral information for professionals
If you work with children and young people in Herefordshire and are concerned about their emotional wellbeing and mental health our Herefordshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) can help.
To make a referral, please telephone CAMHS on 01432 842233 or complete our referral form and post it to: CAMHS, Benet Building, Ruckhall Lane, Belmont, Hereford, HR2 9RP.
Further information and documents