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About our mental health services (CAMHS)

About our Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service

Our Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) works with young people who are experiencing significant, severe and complex difficulties with their mental health.

These difficulties range from feeling low a lot of the time and worrying about lots of things to finding and fitting in with friends, hearing voices, having significant difficulties around eating, self-harming and even considering killing themselves.

Wherever possible, the work of our teams will continue although, in some cases, not in the way you may be used to.  

Until further notice, we’re stopping all non-urgent face to face appointments and will offer alternative arrangements.

Depending on your needs, this could include:

  • an online video consultation, similar to a Skype or WhatsApp call
  • consultation over the phone
  • professional advice on how to manage your own care

In some cases we may offer face to face appointments or even make home visits. This will be based on an assessment of your current difficulties and risks, taking into consideration any additional risks that are the result of the COVID-19 outbreak. 

A member of the team will contact you to decide on the right arrangements for you. There is no need to contact us.

If you need to contact us urgently

If you have urgent/significant concerns about your child’s mental health, between 8am to 8pm (Mon-Fri excluding Bank Holidays) please contact CAMHS CPE on 0300 365 1234.

Outside of these hours , please contact the Crisis Team on 0300 365 9999. This number is for the 24 hours Berkshire Adults Mental Health Crisis Team. This team supports adults in mental health crisis but are able to take calls from young people and parents/carers, and offer advice and direction to support you and your child.

While we all have difficulties from time to time, CAMHS is here to support those young people whose difficulties are very distressing and/or seriously interfering with daily life.

We’ll work with you and your child to help reduce the impact these difficulties are having on your lives.

Your key worker or Care co-ordinator

A Key worker or Care co-ordinator is a named person who looks after the overall plan of care and support of a young person. Young people and families can contact their key worker or care co-ordinator to talk about their care. They will look at a young person’s plan every now and again, to check that it’s still the best approach and help keep young people safe, and talk to other professionals who are involved in a young person’s care.

We try to be flexible on where your child is seen and who they are seen by. This sometimes might delay when they’re seen. Staff members will explain who they are as well as what they can and cannot do.

We encourage your child to take an active part in their treatment and express their opinions throughout their time at CAMHS. We’ll provide accurate, appropriate and simple information to help you and your child make choices about care and support. We’ll also provide information about the nature of their difficulties and where to obtain additional information.

Our staff follow guidelines when gaining consent for treatment and to make sure that everyone is well informed of their rights and how your child’s privacy is protected. We’ll explain the possible choices if you don’t agree.

Confidentiality

We work as a team of mental health professionals and find we provide the best care when we all work together. We won’t discuss information with other people without permission, unless this was specifically related to ensuring your child’s or another person’s safety.

As an NHS service, we regularly send copies of our letters to your child’s GP, or write to them directly, to keep them informed of any mental health needs. If you’d rather your GP wasn’t kept informed, you or your child can discuss this with us.

If you or your child are having a tough time, it’s important that you seek help. 

For all new referrals please contact our Children, Young People and Families (CYPF) HealthHub by completing our online referral form.

If your referral is urgent, please phone 0300 365 1234.

Appointment letters are going digital. You’ll soon be able to receive a text message with a secure link to your appointment information and be able to confirm or rebook with just one click. Find out more information about digital correspondence here.

Other support

We're part of a network of CAMHS professionals dedicated to supporting children and young people with their mental health needs. This includes schools, local authorities and GPs.

If you're having mild or moderate difficulties (such as mild depression, moderate behavioural difficulties, school refusal, family relationship difficulties, enuresis, encopresis), there are a number of services across Berkshire that can provide support.

Select your locality to find out what alternative services are available in your area from your Local Offer: