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CAHMS what is it please

(29 Posts)
dietstartsmonday Thu 25-Oct-12 15:24:54

I have been having trouble with DS2 at school and they have asked me to go to the GP and ask for a CAHMS assesment.
Can anyone help me please to understand what this is and what it involves?

kim147 Thu 25-Oct-12 15:26:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SucksFake Thu 25-Oct-12 15:29:38

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.

Good luck.

PinkyCheesy Thu 25-Oct-12 15:31:11

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.

BackforGood Thu 25-Oct-12 15:35:12

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.

dietstartsmonday Thu 25-Oct-12 15:36:52

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?

dietstartsmonday Thu 25-Oct-12 15:38:06

BAckforgood, is it worth me looking into course now and completing one?

lionheart Thu 25-Oct-12 15:46:23

You might try posting on the SN board for both CAMHS questions and the ADHD.

Lots of experience of both there. smile

BackforGood Thu 25-Oct-12 15:49:01

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 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.

lionheart Thu 25-Oct-12 15:58:45

dsm the first meeting will involve lots of form filling and questions about pregnancy (yours!), developmental milestones etc so it might be as well to think about these things ahead of time.

dietstartsmonday Thu 25-Oct-12 16:11:25

thanks lionheart, that is all really good advice. I shall dig out his red book. ( he is 12 so could be well buried)

Backforgood yes i know how you feel, he has always been the lively child as well but all just got so much worse since secondary school.

He is so loving at times and just completly unreasonable at others. I feel like i have failed somewhere along the line, but really dnt know where!

DameMargotFountain Thu 25-Oct-12 16:15:26

come on over to the SN board, there are lots of lovely people there who hardly ever drop in on the main talk section, they will have the kettle on, OP

dietstartsmonday Thu 25-Oct-12 16:17:00

thanks Dame, I have asked for this thread to be moved there.
Support sounds good right now

lionheart Thu 25-Oct-12 16:18:35

You haven't failed him dsm. You are trying to do whatever you can.

dietstartsmonday Thu 25-Oct-12 16:32:27

Thanks Lion, just feel a bit lost with it all really.

lionheart Thu 25-Oct-12 17:39:53

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. smile

marjproops Thu 25-Oct-12 17:47:03

OP, none of us mind explaining this to you but the school should have told you what it is, if they are asking you to pursue it?

DD's school recommended CAMHS and explained in great detail what it was and wrote a letter to GP as to why they thought DD should be assessed?

And yes the SN board is very good, come over for a cuppa!

mumtoaandj Thu 25-Oct-12 17:51:50

how old is your son- my son saw cahms in foundation stage age4-5 and after 8 sessions said he was too young for cahms?

marjproops Thu 25-Oct-12 18:05:25

mumtoaandj I had same prob DC went when she was 7 and after 6 months was told theyd done all they could and she was too old. I said that the A in CAHMS is child and ADOLESCENT .

dietstartsmonday Thu 25-Oct-12 18:29:48

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.

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 25-Oct-12 20:48:58


We've moved this to SN Children at the OP's request.

dietstartsmonday Thu 25-Oct-12 22:09:14

Thank you Rowan!

lionheart Fri 26-Oct-12 20:47:34

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.

I hope you get the good version. smile

dietstartsmonday Mon 29-Oct-12 11:17:30

Thanks Lion.

I have made a doctors appointment for friday so have started the ball rolling.

Am feeling nervous as i don't really understand but slightly relieved i have taken this first step now.

Will see what happens

lionheart Mon 29-Oct-12 20:56:40

I hope it goes well for you dsm and you get some answers. smile

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