CAMHS is the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. Once your GP makes a referral, the team will decide whether or not their input would be of benefit. (If not, they will signpost to appropriate services.)
If you are offered an appointment, a new patient appointment will last 1.5-2hrs. You may be seen by two team members, giving you and your DS the opportunity to speak to staff on a 1:1 basis.
Following this, they should draw up a treatment plan with both of you. Staff may be from a medical, nursing, SW or psychology background, BTW.
At least, this is how the team I worked in a few years ago operated.
My friend is a local CAMHS manager, they deal with things like child psychologists and other mental health issues that might affect kids. They also liaise with educational psychologists. Your GP will be able to refer you to the most appropriate specialist.
Here they have a SPA (Single point of Access) so the GP will refer to CAMHS as a whole and they will sort of "triage" you, in that they will assess who you need to see (in terms of psychologist, psychiatrist, Mental Health Nurse Specialist). If it is in terms of a referral re a child's behaviour at home or school though, they will almost certainly not see you until you have done some kind of a parent course first - Tripple P or one of a myriad of other courses running out from CCs or charities.
thank you all, it sounded scary because i didn't have a clue what it was. He is so lovely most of the time but really struggling to settle at school at the moment, although i thought we were making progres. His teacher mentioned ADHD so maybe they think that is a possibility?
Well, it can't do any harm - ask at your local Childrens Centre. I'd have loved to have been able to do one when my ds was little. Sometimes when you have the..er...lively child, you can feel quite isolated. I'd have loved to have been able to go along and chat to other parents and hear I wasn't alone, and also hear things that had worked well for others, and perhaps new ideas to try. I don't know it's the same all over the Country, but it does seem a shame to sit for months on a waiting list, only to be told that you then have to do a course first, when you could have been doing it while you were sitting on the waiting list. Of course, you might also find it really supportive regardless of if CAMHS want you to do it.
It will get better, dsm. If he does have some needs that can be addressed then you can arm yourself with how best to meet them by asking on the SN board and reading old threads. I found the pre-diagnosis part quite stressy too (DS has HFA) --so many questions and what ifs but it will settle down. Knowledge is power and all that.
Hi all, my Ds is 12, so age shouldn't be an issue. The school really didn't say anymore apart from we reccomend you see your doctor for this. She mentioned adhd but that was it. Having you all explian what is has helped, its a good start! Thank you for hand holding.
CAMHS provision tends to vary hugely dsm (from chocolate teapot to very good indeed) so you might find it depends where you live. Provision not helped, to say the least, by various forms of restructuring that are going on in the NHS.