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Camhs Survey

(32 Posts)
SammyL38 Mon 21-Mar-16 21:29:33

Hi there

I wanted to introduce myself and my facebook page.

I am a mum to 2 children. My older daughter has SEN and associated mental health issues. She has been unwell with it for many years and is only 10. In January last year things were so bad she was admitted to a childrens mental health hospital.

This was mainly due to a complete failure by our local authority and their camhs services.

I run my own support group and public awareness page.

The public awareness page can be found here

In 2015 it was announced in the budget that £1.25 billion was going to be spent on camhs over a few years. However it is apparent that services have been cut further and families have not been receiving the help they need. It has transpired that the money wasn't ring fenced so not all of this years money may have made its way to camhs and was possibly absorbed elsewhere.

4 weeks ago I wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister about the state of the camhs services. Within days I was contacted by various media outlets and have been in the Independent on Sunday & various local newspapers. I was on LBC talking about childrens mental health and was also interviewed by the BBC and was on BBC News, BBC Breakfast and an audio version was on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Following the open letter to the PM I was swamped by other mums all who had, had terrible experiences with camhs for one reason or the other.

Because of this I set up my own camhs survey to find out what peoples experiences were. I have a few MP's (including on senior/influential minister) following my story and very interested in the results.

If anyone on here has been effected by childrens mental health and has either been referred to camhs or refused a referral for either budget reasons or other excuses please can I ask you to take a few minutes to fill out this survey. Its anonymous and I don't get to see who has completed it.The information will be shared in order to bring about a much needed change to the system.

Thank you

BackforGood Tue 22-Mar-16 00:15:42

I can't fill out your survey, as my experience isn't about a dc of my own, but CAMHS is so poorly funded in our area, that people just don't even bother trying to refer youngsters who probably ought to benefit from it - it's like we've all given up on the service sad

Quietlygoingmad67 Tue 22-Mar-16 00:27:49

My GP even refused to refer me to Camhs saying as my daughter wasn't suicidal they wouldn't touch her!! She has a chronic illness and spends 90% of her time in her room - withdrawn from social contact! I contacted my local Camhs to see about a self referral and they said they aren't sure they had anyone who dealt with children dealing with chronic illness!!

SammyL38 Tue 22-Mar-16 08:21:18

Thank you for your reply. Would you mind telling me which local authority this is. I can use your comments on the back of the survey as "General feedback" thank you

SammyL38 Tue 22-Mar-16 08:27:32

Quietlygoingmad67 - im so sorry this happened. My daughter was suicidal and they still wouldn't help her. Its absolutely shocking.

Quietlygoingmad67 Tue 22-Mar-16 08:51:38

I'm sorry to hear about your daughter - it does make you wonder who these services are helping!

Runningtokeepstill Tue 22-Mar-16 10:24:49

Quietly, I think most CAMHS teams don't deal with dc whose mental health issues arise from a physical condition. My ds was referred to local CAMHS aged 10 by GOSH for support with the mental effects of a physical condition. They initially tried not to see him, were pushed into it and then saw him and said they cannot help. A similar situation occurred again when he was aged 13.

Now he's 16 we're trying once more as someone else referred him. CAMHS response was that "another service" should help. They know there is no other NHS based service! I complained and he's supposed to be on the waiting list. But having phoned today it seems he might not be. Waiting for them to get back but cannot imagine we'll get much further than before.

Quietlygoingmad67 Tue 22-Mar-16 10:57:24

It is so wrong - I'm supporting a child through suicidal thoughts and depression because she can't get any help either (although she is 18 and referred to adult services) - my other DD has mental health issue and we ended up paying privately at £50 a session for nearly two years!

insan1tyscartching Tue 22-Mar-16 11:25:59

Ds was suicidal his paediatrician called in a favour so that he was referred directly to the psychiatrist as he said the others at CAMHS were a waste of time. The psychiatrist to give him his due was very supportive and referred him to see a primary mental health worker alongside.The one we were referred to was supposedly "the most senior, knowledgeable and experienced" according to the psychiatrist. We saw for ourselves that the paediatrician's assessment was more accurate when the primary mental health worker hadn't even read ds's file,didn't understand selective mutism,had only the most tenuous grasp of autism management strategies and seemed to think that telling me about warnings and routines would be an epiphany fourteen years after diagnosis hmm
Fortunately by fighting the LA I secured ds a place in an independent specialist school and so he had ASD specific therapy delivered by knowledgeable and experienced professionals there instead.

BackforGood Tue 22-Mar-16 20:38:09


SammyL38 Tue 22-Mar-16 22:39:54

Thank you all for comments - this is all really useful. It is quite astounding how many people are failed by the one service supposed to be helping our children

Balletgirlmum Tue 22-Mar-16 22:46:09


Camhs discharged Ds despite senco at school begging them not to. Ignored what we & school said & refused to refer Ds for asd assessment.

BettyEasterBunny Wed 23-Mar-16 18:23:42

My dd has just been referred to CAMHS via gp for anxiety, the school are supporting this. I've no idea what to expect.

Clare1971 Fri 25-Mar-16 09:49:37

East Anglia. So glad someone is taking this on. Our experience of CAMHS has been varied: including useless, mildly useful and positively damaging. My big gripe is that unless a child is prepared to talk, there is nothing on offer - and we know teenagers are frequently unwilling or unable to talk about their problems. There should be mush more available in terms of art, music and drama therapy. Will do survey now.

Clare1971 Fri 25-Mar-16 10:08:53

Have done survey and shared fb page. It might be an idea to put this on the 'teenagers' board of mumsnet too. There's been a lot of stuff on there recently about teenagers and mental health. I don't think people always find this board.

Thornrose Fri 25-Mar-16 10:17:53

Dd has been let down by CAMHS over the years. Most recently she was referred on to a young people's service.

Her counsellor had no experience of autism and did more harm than good! She potentially was having her first psychotic episode, yes, counselling will sort that out! hmm

Yes, yes to creative therapies, there really is nothing out there!

insan1tyscartching Fri 25-Mar-16 10:37:59

Thornrose, our CAMHS demonstrated that they had the most basic understanding of ASD, essentially if the problem couldn't be fixed by strict routines and warnings of change they had nothing to offer.
I told the primary mental health worker ds had been diagnosed 14 years ago,I was using warnings and routines when she was still in school, if they were going to sort the difficulties then I wouldn't have needed to see CAMHS.
It took ASD specialist support and therapy at his independent specialist school (that needed me to get leave for Judicial Review to secure) to help ds. On site psychologist, OT and SALT art and music therapy, group and individual counselling etc none of which is available through CAMHS much less with ASD specialist knowledge at the root of the expertise.

SammyL38 Fri 25-Mar-16 18:23:21

Thanks everyone for your comments - all really helpful.Im new to Mumsnet so still finding my way around the site.... But from posting it on here increased the responses to the actual survey which is amazing. The MP I'm in touch with has suggested I get 1000 responses as it will make the media more interested. I'm up to over 820 now so still some more people to fill it out.

beggingbehind Fri 25-Mar-16 18:59:34

I would like to throw a good experience into the mix! DD tried to commit suicide twice after the first time was refereed to CAMHS Crisis team so was seen the next day, know has two workers they see her twice weekly have her on three types of meds and have her engaged with them and she dosent actually mind going to her apptment she is still high risk (why she's seen so often and by two people) and sometimes i feel im at the end of my tether but i believe theyve helped

TheWrathofNaan Fri 25-Mar-16 19:08:43

Survey done. Well done you undertaking this when you have a child in crisis.

Purplerainbow2 Fri 25-Mar-16 19:17:31

I can't speak positively at all oh Camhs. My ds is 10. Was referred at age 4 by gp, they said they couldn't help. Got him privately assessed and diagnosed age 5. Gp sent us back to Camhs who then sent us to paediatrician who sent us back to Camhs who sent us back to paediatrician and so forth for 4 years. A mental health worker worked with him for a while during this time, just got him to trust her and surprise surprise there was no funding and nothing more she could do. After 1.5 years at the end of 2015 we were given a Camhs apt for the most senior physiatrist ans someone we 'should be greatful is seeing us' so far it has been no help.

Purplerainbow2 Fri 25-Mar-16 19:18:12

I shall fill in your questionnaire definitely and want to say how great you are for taking this on

FiveGoMadInDorset Fri 25-Mar-16 19:19:27

I have done your survey, I work for a trust that runs CAMHS in our area and have also been a user. It is one of the weakest parts of our trust.

SammyL38 Sun 27-Mar-16 12:37:22

Thanks for all your comments and answers to the survey. This has really helped with getting to reach the 1000 mark. I appreciate there are positive comments too - and that's really important. It is however becoming increasingly obvious that the majority of service users have had a negative experience. Please feel free to share my post wherever appropriate. Im just short of the 1000 responses - but I'm close and hopefully this will help bring even more awareness and change to a system that is failing far too many families.

Purplerainbow2 Sun 27-Mar-16 14:38:32

Bumping for you

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