The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is based at Stirling Community Hospital and The Manor in Falkirk.
It is important to remember that not all CAMHS teams are the same and there are differences in provision across the country. It is also important to say that every professional working with children has a responsibility to consider and respond to the wellbeing of a child or young person. Whilst CAMHS are there to respond when mental wellbeing is of concern, emotional wellbeing should be considered by other services. For this reason it is normal for CAMHS to expect some form of support to have been attempted prior to referral. (if you are concerned about an emotional wellbeing issue then speak to the Named Person Service ie your health visitor, school head teacher, or Pastoral / Guidance Staff).
We hope this page will give you an increased understanding about what we offer and who we are. However the Royal College of Psychiatrists The Royal College of Psychiatrists have produced a helpful brochure on what to expect from CAMHS which can be downloaded on the Royal College of Physicians website.
Hours: 9am-5pm Monday-Friday
If you have concerns about a child or young person being at immediate risk out with these hours, contact either your local GP surgery, NHS 24 (dial 111) or go to your nearest A&E department.
If you are a young person seeking immediate help with mental health problems, use one of the above options, or contact Childline (0800 1111) or at the Samaritans (08457 90 90 90).
What is CAMHS
CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) is provided by NHS Forth Valley. We work with you to understand your/your child’s difficulties and where appropriate offer therapeutic interventions to help you make the changes you want to make. The team is made up of a range of different professionals and we work as a multi disciplinary team.
Our staff team includes clinicians who have trained as Clinical Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Nurses, and Social Workers. In addition many people have additional training (please see interventions sections for details). We also have reception, secretarial staff and domestic staff that help run the service.
The strength of multidisciplinary CAMHS team-working is that distinct therapeutic approaches can be offered by utilising the different skills of each profession. It is not unusual for more than one CAMHS team member to be involved.
We often have professionals undertaking clinical training on placement with us who are supervised by a qualified member of the team.
Everyone in our team has experience of working with children and young people who have mental health difficulties and their families.
Our administrative staff support the Clinicians in all their administrative duties. They are your first point of contact when you telephone in to the Department. They type correspondence, ensure that appointments are sent out and update our systems. They are not able to provide you with advice and guidance as this is the job of our clinical staff, however if concerned they can take a message and speak to a member of the clinical team.
All administrative staff are subject to full disclosure checks like all our staff, to ensure that they are safe and capable of working with young people. They are bound by the same confidentiality agreement as all staff working within NHS Forth Valley.
We accept referrals for children 0-18years* (0-16years for Learning Disabilities). We do not accept a self referral but you can be referred to CAMHS by the Named Person Service (ie your health visitor, school staff or pastoral staff), General Practitioner or any other child care professional working within Forth Valley. It is the role of all professionals working with children to consider and respond to wellbeing concerns or when your difficulties are affecting your development. As CAMHS is a specialist service we would expect a single service Initial Wellbeing Assessment to be completed prior to referral.
For those under 5 years we prefer you to have seen or been assessed by Paediatricians prior to referral to CAMHS as they take a lead for children under 5 years old.
If the reason for referral is due to concerns you may have about neuro developmental difficulties e.g. ADHD, or an autistic spectrum profile then we would expect you have already been seen or been involved with services, particularly within School e.g. Educational Psychologist, Staged Intervention or Team Around the Child. If you have some concerns you should speak to the Named Person Service first to ensure that a coordinated approach to assessment for these difficulties is attempted from the start. Early intervention with developmental disorders may include a period of monitoring or the need for further assessment within school. Developmental difficulties often come to light when a child gets older i.e. throughout the course of their development. Families with children with developmental (and behavioural) problems can access other support, advice and intervention from other named professionals before referral to CAMHS or when waiting on a referral e.g. parent training and management support. There is a Guidance Document which, although designed for professionals, may help you to understand available here.
Our referral criteria document is available here. We have added an appendix that lists some common reasons for referral to CAMHS and suggestions for alternative supports. CAMHS teams are very different across the country so if you move areas it maybe the service you previous experienced may not be available. National CAMHS Referral Criteria indicates that referrals for CAMHS should be made on the following basis:
Condition 1 (basic threshold)
A child/young person* has or is suspected to have a mental disorder or other condition that results in persistent symptoms of psychological distress.
Condition 2 (complexity and severity threshold)
There is also the existence of at least one of the following:
- An associated serious and persistent impairment of their day to day social functioning.
- An associated risk that the child/young person may cause serious harm to themselves or others.
Where there is evidence of an associated significantly unfavourable social context (e.g. a child in care, a sibling, a parent or carer with significant mental or physical health problems, a child who has been the victim of abuse or who has experienced domestic abuse) a multidisciplinary approach should be taken ensuring appropriate inclusion of relevant agencies.
* There is some variance of the upper age range for CAMH services which is 18 years for core services and 16 years for LD CAMHS
Coming to CAMHS
When we receive a referral and have all the information we need, we will process your referral. If the referral is not appropriate we will write to you and let you know and will do our best to signpost you to a service that is more appropriate.
When we are able to offer you an appointment, we will write to you and ask you to get in touch. It is important that you read this letter very carefully as it will have a contact number for you to phone and arrange an appointment.
If for whatever reason you don’t get in touch, we will write to you again asking you to telephone and make an appointment. If you don’t respond to this second letter we will assume you no longer want an appointment with us and will discharge you and write to the person who referred you to advise.
Older Children: We prefer young people to bring their guardians to a first appointment. We would like to be able to gather information from all family members. If there are things you want to talk about privately with us, without your family present, we will give you the time and space to do this. There are times, if we are very concerned about a young person’s safety, that we have to speak to their parent/guardian. We would always try to let you know how and why we are doing this.
This means that if you are referred to CAMHS you may be seen by a PMHW if your difficulties have been present for less than 1 year and you haven’t had a lot of support for any other services before being referred to CAMHS. Primary Mental Health Workers work in the same way as other members of the team except that they may not complete a full comprehensive mental health assessment for all children and young people they work with, and are unable to undertake specialist diagnostic assessments for things like ADHD or children with autistic profiles.
The main aim of this part of the service is to offer an opportunity to talk with a mental health professional as early as possible in the development of a problem. Research has shown that this improves outcomes for people by preventing the onset and escalation of problems
People often feel differently towards a problem once they find that they can do something different about it. During the session with the Primary Mental Health Worker we will consider your concerns together in order to see if we can help you find new ways of dealing with these.
Normally our first step is to offer structured self-help information and approaches and we may suggest you try these yourself and return and let us know how things went. We also offer advice about behavioural, and/or family support to reduce the impact of mental health and emotional problems and prevent their escalation to greater/more significant difficulties later on. So, we may signpost you to more appropriate services. For children and young people whose difficulties have not improved with the above help we may offer brief evidence based interventions of between 6-8 sessions
For a small number of children and young people we may arrange for an appointment with specialist CAMHS who offer assessment and intervention for more enduring and severe mental health issues.
- Individual therapy
- Further meetings to gather more specific information
- Multi-agency consultation
- Group work
- Liaison with other School
- Referral to alternative/additional service
- Provision of information and advice regarding coping with difficulties
- Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT)
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
- Family Based Therapy (FBT)
- Parenting Groups for ADHD, ASD and SMARTS
- Attachment based therapies
- ADHD monitoring/behavioural interventions
- Medication monitoring
- Mindfulness based therapies
- EMDR (a specialist intervention for trauma)
- Behavioural Family Therapy (BFT)
- Group based interventions
- Speclialist consultations with other professionals
We will ask what your current concerns are, when you first noticed these concerns and how it affects you (e.g. how it feels, if it has changed how you behave) and other people in your family.
We will ask you if there are/have been any significant life events happening within the family such as divorce or bereavement.
We will ask what has been tried in the past to help, what has worked and what has not.
We will ask what changes you would like to make and what your want to achieve from coming to CAMHS. We may also ask about the timing of the referral ie why now, what has changed?
We will always be guided by you/your child as to what you/they feel comfortable talking about and there will be no pressure to discuss anything you are not ready to.
You might want to write things down on a piece of paper to help you remember what you would like to say in the appointment. You might like to write down examples of your concerns, if you have noticed any patterns to your problems, what helps and what doesn’t.
You can bring someone along that you trust for support, if you would like to.
If we need to gather more information, to explore your problems fully or if we feel that the difficulties discussed may benefit from some intervention we will invite you back for further appointments.
From time to time, we will send reports or letters to you, your family and professionals involved in your care. We will tell you if we are going to send a report about you and you will have the opportunity to see this and discuss it with your clinician.. The only time we would break your confidence by talking to others without your consent is if we had serious concerns about someone’s safety, well being or development and that not having information would have an adverse effect.
We will discuss ending your appointments with you, taking into account your feelings and opinions regarding this. Ending an intervention normally happens over an agreed period of time so that you feel prepared to be discharged.
- We asked young people to recommend some sites that they found useful and these can be found on the attached Self Help Guide.
- www.safespot.org.uk – A downloadable App for Android and IOS that was developed by a Child Psychiatrist who used to work in Forth Valley which promotes positive mental wellbeing byfocussing on learning coping skills
- www.youngminds.org.uk – A well respected mental health charity for young people
- www.moodcafe.co.uk – Produced by NHS Fife but has relaxation tools and
- www.ru-ok.org.uk – Mental health charity: Information on relaxation, anger management, etc.
- www.rcpsych.ac.uk/healthadvice/parentsandyouthinfo.aspx – Produced by Royal College of Psychiatrists: Search for leaflets and fact sheets about many subjects from depression to sleep problems
- www.childline.org.uk – For young people and for individuals who are concerned about the safety and well-being of young people. The help and advice section has pages about bullying, abuse, homelessness, suicide and much more. Childline (tel. 0800 1111)
- www.samaritans.org – or 08457 90 90 90
- www.pbskids.org/arthur/games/aboutface/ – Helps younger children talk about their emotions
- www.crusescotland.org.uk – Bereavement support also http://www.bullying.co.uk/ : Information for parents and children about different kinds of bullying, legal advice and problem pages
- www.b-eat.co.uk – Online help and support for young people with eating difficulties, including a general helpline and a youth helpline and downloadable information sheets.
- www.handsonscotland.co.uk This website is designed to help you make a difference to children and young people’s lives, by giving you tools to respond helpfully when they are troubled. It is a one-stop shop for practical information and techniques on how to respond helpfully to children and young people’s troubling behaviour, build up their self-esteem and promote their positive mental wellbeing
- www.llttf.com – Living Life to the Full: This is an 8 session course that has been written by a Psychiatrist who has many years of experience using a Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) approach and aims to help young people develop skills in everyday life
- www.incredibleyears.com for behavioural problems or parenting advice
Neurodevelopmental Difficulties (ASD, ADHD)
- www.autism.org.uk – National Autistic Society offers information and support
- www.lgbtyouth.org.uk – Advice and on line chat available
Parenting Advice and Support
- www.parentlinescotland.org.uk – Free helpline for parents/carers who have concerns about a child or young
- Falkirk Council Parenting Coordinator on 01324 506687 or Falkirk Parenting Programmes
- Clackmannanshire & Stirling Council Parenting Coordinator on 01786 233939 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- You may also wish to contact your local nursery or health visitor
- Stress Control Groups: Stress control classes and information are offered across Forth Valley and are available to young people and parents and even NHS Forth Valley staff. Contact FVUHB.email@example.com to for more information
- www.stressandanxietyinteenagers.com – NHS Lothian. This site offers support, advice and self-help approaches to coping with the effects of stress and anxiety.
- www.anxietyuk.org.uk – Charity: they provide information on a range of different difficulties. Also have an App & helpline
- www.nopanic.org.uk Help with panic attacks, obsessions and phobias. Has a Youth Helpline.
- www.anxietybc.com although Canadian our young people have found this an excellent website and the downloadable free Mindshift App for young people
- www.ocduk.org Info site for children and young people affected by OCD run by Royal Maudsley Hospital
- www.beatingtheblues.co.uk – offers 8 sessions of computerised cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) programme for depression and anxiety, recommended National Institute of Health Excellence for the treatment of low mood and depression.
- www.safespot.org.uk – Downloadable App for Android and IOS that was developed by a Child Psychiatrist who used to work in Forth Valley which promotes positive mental wellbeing byfocussing on learning coping skills
- www.kidssleepdr.com – Developed especially for children by NHS, Kids Sleep Dr helps parents understand and improve the sleeping and waking patterns of their child – from new-born right through to teenagers. Fill in your child’s sleep diary, understand their sleep patterns and receive sleep tips personalised to your child. Developed by a Evelina’s Children Hospital in London
- www.sleepscotland.org – Sleep counselling for parents and carers of children and young people with additional support needs
Here are some resources freely available on the internet. We have not created these resources. You may be asked to use some of these during your treatment.