Herefordshire CAMHS (Tier 3)

Our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) in Herefordshire provides specialist mental health services for children and young people up to 18 years old and also supports their families/carers. To be referred into the Herefordshire CAMHS service, children and young people should live in Herefordshire and be registered with a GP in the county. This includes children and young people with a diagnosed learning disability.

About the service

Child and Adolescent Mental Services (CAMHS for short) are an NHS service that supports children and young people who experience emotional and mental health difficulties such as:

  • Problems with relationships (with family, carers, or at school)
  • Feeling depressed, anxious, self-harming or problems with eating
  • Experiencing traumatic event(s) in their lives which is affecting them emotionally

CAMHS clinicians are trained and qualified specialists who can treat, assess, and support children and young people’s emotional and mental health difficulties and are good at listening. They work in partnership with the family, the 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.

The team is made up of psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, psychotherapists, and art therapists. They work as a team and use their different skills and expertise to provide the best outcomes for the children and young people they support.

CAMHS provide many therapies and interventions such as family work, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and specialist assessments for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (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.

The initial appointment

It's natural for you to feel nervous about the initial appointment, but this is just a chance for the CAMHS clinicians to get to know you a bit more and to find out how they can help.

During the appointment the CAMHS clinicians will have a chat with you and will ask some questions to find out more about the issues you are experiencing and feeling, what has been happening and what you might think would help you.

At the end of the discussion the CAMHS clinician will work with you to identify further actions or treatment to help you get better - this may mean attending further appointments at CAMHS, or a referral to another service that is better suited to your needs.

Sometimes a one-off meeting is all to talk through any issues.

What happens if work with CAMHS continues?

If further appointments are agreed, a CAMHS clinician will work in partnership with you through your treatment. The word treatment may sound a little scary, but it's just so you can work together with the CAMHS clinician to help you get better.

A course of treatment will usually be for 7-10 sessions and sometimes more sessions may be needed or less if you get better quicker.

The CAMHS clinician will also complete an assessment and will work collaboratively with you to agree a care plan which will show what work has been agreed and how often appointments will be.

What happens if I'm prescribed medication?

Sometimes a child or young person can benefit from taking medication to help their recovery. If medication is prescribed, the CAMHS clinicians will talk with you and your family about what the medication is, how it will help, and how it is given.

Medication is prescribed and reviewed by psychiatrists and specially trained nurses who have lots of experience and training around this area.

Accessing the service

All referrals into Herefordshire CAMHS must be completed by professionals using the CAMHS referral form.

The CAMHS team in Herefordshire 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.

Referrals are screened by the team 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.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is very important to CAMHS - all the information given in CAMHS appointments is confidential. Usually only the person who made the referral and the GP will know about the appointments.

The team will only share information about young people when we feel it is absolutely necessary, and the clinicians will always explain what information is being shared and why.

Sometimes 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.

If you are unsure about anything, please ask the team.

Help and resources

If you are a child or young people please visit the our information section to find out more about feelings and emotions.