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Camhs, how does it work?

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  • Camhs, how does it work?

    How does it work? Who exactly are they and what do they do?
    My teacher asked what I thought about camhs for myself - and I was completely against it - My problem isn't really big enough to have anything to do with camhs, but it's just got me thinking about it really...

    So can anyone give me any detailed information or personal experience about it? Just so I can have a clearer idea of what I was offered?

  • #2
    CAMHS is the strand of the mental health services for children and adolesents. they offer support with serious mental disorders and are usually supplementary to regular visits to your GP.

    in order to access CAMHS you have to be referred by your GP. the waiting lists are usually quite long so you might have to wait a while if you are referred. the first appointment is an assessment and it usually goes on for around an hour. you can take a friend or parent with you and they can explain things if you find it difficult. the appointment is usually with a psychiatrist (who is a doctor who has done some extra training in psychology), but it might be with a social worker or other professional. from then on they will decide what help is most appropriate for you. it might be just having someone to talk to, such as a counsellor or psychiatric nurse, or it might be something more intensive such as psychotherapy. if you take any medication you will have appointments with a psychiatrist to review this. the CAMHS services also extend to hospital services for people who are a significant risk to themselves or others, but this is very much for the minority and a last resort: if you have someone to look after you at home then even at your very worst it is very unlikely that you will need to go to hosiptal.

    the CAMHS services are not exhaustive and like all areas of the NHS are subject to funding and staff cuts. each time you see a new professional you will need to be referred, and it can be frustrating. but you will always have someone you (or your parents) can contact while you are waiting.

    think of being referred to CAMHS as being referred to any other medical specialist. your GP might decide that it's not the right way to go and might refer you for something that is quicker to access or less intensive, such as in-house counselling. but the first step if you want to access any kind of mental health care is to make an appointment with your GP to see what services are available in your area and what they think is appropriate.
    I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in life. And I am horribly limited.


    • #3

      I've had a around 7-8 sessions so far with Vicki from CAMHS, I got referred by my social worrker it takes about a week to get a appointment and you can choose any time of the week that will fit your scale. On your first day Vicki came to my house and spoke to me in private and asked me to fill in 2 quesionairs over 100 quesions :O I think. Well there were loades and quick to answer then your mum or dad come in and fill a different quesionair with similar quesions and choose 1-5 on a scalee for each answer like you
      That would take atleast 40 minutes.
      Then sshe would book a few sessions with you, I'm not sure if it will be similar as I had the CIN meeting and all so....yeah may be different there very supportive only if you bother talking to them. They are a mental health service got and keep to 1 session pain week anyday x
      They've helped me alot x
      In the land of gods and monsters, I was an angel. Living in the garden of evil.


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