CAMHS – useful information for professionals

CAMHS is the child and adolescent mental health service. We provide multi-disciplinary assessment and treatment of children and young people with mental health or severe emotional and behavioural difficulties.

We work in many different ways with young people, depending on their needs.

  • We support teachers, youth workers and people working with young people by offering them support and training on how to spot mental health difficulties.
  • We employ specialist mental health workers to work with children and young people with mild or moderate mental health difficulties. These professionals can also support you.
  • Our psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, social workers and community nurses provide more specialist services. These professionals work with children and young people with complex mental health difficulties, as well as supporting you.
  • We also work with and support children and young people who may need very specialist treatment, which could involve hospital care.

Are you worried about a child?

Children sometimes find it hard to speak about the difficulties they are having, this might be because they feel they don’t want to make a fuss, cause worry or upset, or maybe it’s that they feel it might make trouble. They may feel embarrassed or believe that telling someone might only cause them more pain.

However, they can often provide signs that they’re having difficulties with their mental health and that professional help is required e.g.

  • falling behind at school or college
  • refusal to go to school or college, or maybe being more;
  • aggressive/disruptive/challenging
  • quiet/uncommunicative
  • anxious/depressed
  • not mixing with friends
  • not eating

Having people that will listen to them is all the help that some children might need; but if you feel that this isn’t enough for a child and that their difficulties are starting to get in the way of their lives, then it’s important that you get a second opinion. Their doctor, school nurse or social worker can advise as to whether specialist support is needed; and if they think CAMHS is the right service to provide this, they will arrange a referral.

Safeguarding children (professional)

Safeguarding children – the action we take to promote the welfare of children and protect them from harm – is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and families has a role to play. Within the law a child is anyone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday.

Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is defined in Working Together 2013 as:

  • Protecting children from maltreatment
  • Preventing impairment of children’s health or development
  • Ensuring that children grow up in circumstances consistent with the provision of safe and effective care
  • Taking action to enable all children to have the best outcomes

For children who need additional help, every day matters. Academic research is consistent in underlining the damage to children from delaying intervention. The actions taken by professionals to meet the needs of these children as early as possible can be critical to their future.

Professionals must share appropriate information in a timely way and can discuss any concerns about an individual child with their own colleagues with includes the child’s GP, health visitor or school nurse and social care. There should be no delay in reporting concerns about abuse and neglect.

Safeguarding children – contact details

Staffordshire First response Team

Tel: 0800 1313 126
Fax: 01785 854223

Emergency out-of-hours

Tel: 0345 6042 886

Stoke-on-Trent Advice and Referral Team

Tel: 01782 235100
Fax: 01782 235457

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire – Police Central Referral Unit

Tel: 0300 123 4455