Parents and carers
What is CAMHS?
CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. These are NHS services, which in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire are run by Nottinghamshire Healthcare.
We offer support and treatment for children aged 0 – 18 years who have emotional and/or mental health problems.
How can we get help?
If you are the parent or carer for a young person aged 0 to 18 years old with a Nottinghamshire GP, you can refer on their behalf to CAMHS. This means that you can directly approach our team to ask for help. The telephone number is 0115 8542 299 and it is open from 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You will speak to a specially trained professional who will ask you some questions and talk to you about how they can help. If you prefer, you can ask for help by completing an online referral form.
If you prefer you can speak to your GP or school health nurse who can get in touch with us by calling or writing to us. Any other professional who works with your child/ young person like a social worker, counsellor or youth worker can also contact us to find out how we can help you.
Who works at CAMHS?
Most children who get help from CAMHS will see one of our community outpatient teams. The Nottinghamshire community outpatient teams are made up of lots of different professionals, including family therapists, CAMHS social workers, family support workers, mental health practitioners, associate mental health practitioners, psychologists, psychiatrists or art psychotherapists.
What happens next?
Professionals in CAMHS work together with children and young people to try to overcome their difficulties through evidence-based treatments (treatment that has been researched and found to be helpful). Together, we will create some goals and keep track of how your child is doing to make sure the support is helping. There are regular reviews to think about treatment options.
Children and young people may require different types of treatment depending on their age and developmental stage.
What else does CAMHS do?
Some smaller teams offer specific treatments for difficulties such as eating disorders, substance misuse, psychosis or an intellectual disability. These are known as specialist teams.
I'm worried about my child, what do I do?
If you are concerned about your child’s emotional or mental health, you can get support from your child’s school, school nursing team or your GP.
They may ask for your consent and your child’s to organise a meeting with a primary mental health worker (PMHW) from CAMHS. The PMHW will have a discussion with the professional, where they will discuss their concerns about your child. They can then decide what is the best service to support you and your child.
If that service is CAMHS, they will contact us and an appointment will be sent to you for an assessment. Both you and your child will need to come to the appointment. Both of you will usually be given the opportunity to speak with the CAMHS practitioner on your own, as well as together.
Did you know there are volunteering and involvement opportunities in CAMHS? Here's one parent's experience:
Involvement through volunteering, project work and co-production is of benefit to everyone involved. I would encourage anyone with an interest in giving up a little time to help support CAMHS to get in touch with the Involvement Team and find out what projects are currently running. I feel we all have a responsibility to contribute whatever we can, however small, to improve and work towards excellence for the future services our children will inherit.