Find out what all the roles in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) mean and what they do.
Someone who will represent you and speak on your behalf
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team (CAMHS)
A team of people with different jobs who have experience of working with children and young people who have mental health difficulties. The team would include:
- Social Workers
- Occupational Therapists
- Family Therapists
- Arts Therapists
- Primary Mental Health Worker
- Outreach Workers
Use talking therapies to help people cope. See Youth Access for more information.
Family Doctor or General Practitioner (GP)
Contact your GP if you are worried about your health in any way. Your GP can help with
- Talking through problems
- Prescribing medication
- Making referrals to specialists
Specialised nurses who work in the community
Mental Health Act Commissioner (MHAC)
Visit and privately interview patients in hospital or mental health nursing homes. They have limited powers to investigate a complaint and appoint panels to give second opinions on treatment. See the Care Quality Commission for more information.
Trained to care for and support young people and may also prescribe medicine.
Help people who have been unwell or had problems to build the confidence and skills to lead a normal life.
Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS)
PALS help NHS users and their carers resolve issues with their care and treatment. Can refer to the Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS) if the problem is not solved.
Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS)
Free to use and not linked to the NHS. Deals with complaints about NHS treatment.
Doctors who specialise in child health.
Specialise in mental health including in children and young people.
A group of professionals who help you understand the way you behave, feel and think about things. Includes Clinical Psychologists and Educational Psychologists.
More in-depth than counsellors, they aim to help you understand why you feel the way you do, what’s behind the way you act towards other people and why some things happen to you.
Perform tests to make sure treatment is working.
Self-help and Support Groups
Groups where you meet up with people in a similar situation to you. They help you realise you are not alone and you can end up feeling better by being able to support someone else.
Some social workers help you if you are at risk of abuse or if you are in care while others are trained in mental health and can offer counselling. Psychiatric social workers are specialists who work with people during crises or over a long period of time.
Special Educational Needs Coordinators (SENCO)
Organises help in school for children with special educational needs such as learning difficulties.
Speech and Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists
Help develop skills in communication, physical ability and coordination. Other therapists include Art Therapists, Drama Therapists, Education Therapists and Music Therapists.
Youth Offending Workers
Work individually with young offenders to assess and find suitable programmes to help them and prevent future offending.