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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 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.
- Address: Belmont, Benet Building, Ruckhall Lane, Belmont, Hereford, HR2 9RP
- Reception phone number: 01432 220450
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.
Referrals into CAMHS and initial appointments
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.
It's natural for children and young people 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 ask questions to find out more about the issues the child/young person is experiencing, what has been happening and what help they want. At the end of the discussion the CAMHS clinician will identify actions or options to take forward - this may mean attending further appointments at CAMHS, or a referral to another service that is better suited to the needs of the individual.
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 through their treatment.
A course of treatment will usually be for 7-10 sessions and sometimes more sessions may be needed or less if the child/young person gets better quicker than expected. The CAMHS clinician will complete an assessment and will work collaboratively with the child or young person to 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 who have lots of experience and training around this area.
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.
Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
All children should have access to the right services, at the right time, to make sure they can reach their full potential. We work together with other agencies to ensure that the right professionals are involved at the right time to meet the needs of you and your child. Find out more about how we support children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)