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CAMHS in general, what has it been like for you?

(17 Posts)
mysonben Thu 03-Sep-09 13:45:35

Please could you tell me about your experience with Camhs.
Especially if anyone knows of what they are like down my way in Southampton?

Thanks. smile

mysonben Thu 03-Sep-09 13:47:38

DS is being put forward for a CAMHS referal from his paed.
He is nearly 4 and suspected mild asd by paed (verbal dx).

AngryWasp Thu 03-Sep-09 14:47:37

lol - non-existent.

I'd be interested to know what their purpose was at least!

streakybacon Thu 03-Sep-09 15:16:53

Really, really, really, really crap.

We've been trying to get medication from our CAMHS team for ds (age 10, with AS and strong ADHD presentation) for five years and they still won't give it, despite evidence from several sources that he needs it. We've had to go private to find someone who will listen to us and treat him.

But I will say that other people I know of have had excellent experiences with their local CAMHS team, though sadly not in my area. It seems to vary very widely.

Can't speak for Southampton either, I'm afraid.

daisy5678 Thu 03-Sep-09 20:56:35

Initially, CAMHS were a bit crappy - kept refusing J's urgent referral from the paed due to him not being 5 yet, then saw us and fobbed us off onto a mental health nurse for assessment. Eventually saw the psychiatrist who dx'd ADHD (but missed the autism hmm) and they then wanted to discharge him because I didn't want him on medication and said they'd discharge him in 6 months if there were no further issues.

There were loads of issues though - it was just that they were only offering meds to deal with them, which I didn't want.

Then, a year later, things were so bad at home and school that we went back and saw a new consultant psychiatrist to see about meds, who spotted the autism straightaway and started the diagnosis process off.

This psych has been amazing. She's come to school meetings, written letters and reports to convince DLA and Blue Badge people to actually do their jobs and give J what he needs, arranged therapy for J and also sees me on my own to help me think of ways to manage J's often very difficult behaviour. She's one of the only people who gives me any confidence in my parenting, while still giving me ideas to improve it, and I would genuinely be lost without the support she's given us over the last 2 years, when everyone else seemed to have an ulterior motive or no time for us.

So...I like CAMHS now, but I think we have just been lucky. I know nothing about Southampton at all and do know that everywhere is different and offers different services. Do they have a website?

Sometimes, like in our case, you'll meet someone who will go the extra mile for your child, and I hope you find someone at your CAMHS who will do that for you.

BCNSback Thu 03-Sep-09 21:01:28

We haven't been with CAMHS long, and have only just seen the clinical psych.. but so far they have been Brilliant.. they are about to contact school, they are dealing with ex H for me ( well a bit together but they are helping loads).. honestly it took a bit of getting into their system.. but a couple of months and things are happening

not the southampton area.. and I so hope yours are as good as ours!

AngryWasp Thu 03-Sep-09 21:02:51

Our Ed Psych will go the extra mile and it makes such a difference when you find someone like that. She has been brill. But the trouble is, it is she who we will be facing at tribunal sad hmm

Very bad situation - when we get there of course.

AngryWasp Thu 03-Sep-09 21:04:20

So what is the purpose of CAMHS then? Should we be under them? DS is almost 3 and with ASD.

daisy5678 Thu 03-Sep-09 21:09:00

Depends, AngryWasp. Here, they only deal with 5+ and also they deal with all ASD cases. In other areas, another team deals with ASD and they may see under 5s. You need to ask.

AngryWasp Thu 03-Sep-09 21:13:03

Oh, - actually I really don't think I need any more professionals involved.

However, what do they actually DO?

daisy5678 Thu 03-Sep-09 21:15:17

Again, different things in different places.

Some offer family therapy, or group therapy, or days practising social skills, or cognitive behavioural therapy, or counselling. All do diagnosis and medication, though ASD is a grey area and not always assessed at CAMHS because it's not technically a mental health problem and they are a mental health service!

May have forgotten other stuff, but that's the general idea of them.

AngryWasp Thu 03-Sep-09 21:23:17

hmm I can't even get a referral to OT! hmm

daisy5678 Thu 03-Sep-09 21:26:59

I did it through the GP?

AngryWasp Thu 03-Sep-09 21:30:42

LOL, - my GP said that OT was for adults and that the Paed should refer. I insisted and he said he'd get back to me by the end of the week. He left a message on my answer phone saying he'd passed it onto his colleagues and that he was off on holiday for 2 weeks hmm

The Paed said it was only for children with gross motor skills problems.

Don't think I need CAHMS atm, - might do after the statementing process though, - for myself!

mysonben Fri 04-Sep-09 11:10:47

Thanks ladies.
It seems opinions and good/bad experiences with CAMHS varies greatly.

Will just have to wait and hope they are good when our turn comes.

cory Sat 05-Sep-09 09:49:31

CAHMS in soton were good with dd- who mainly has physical problems but was misdiagnosed as psychosomatic and had quite a bit of emotional damage resulting from that. The original damage was not the fault of CAHMS but they did work on picking up the pieces. Dd did a stretch at the Bursledon House rehabilitation unit which was very good. Counselling didn't work so well for her, but the OT was excellent and she was helped by the CBT techniques she was taught.

mysonben Tue 08-Sep-09 00:19:39

Cheers, cory for your reply.
I really hope they'll be good with my ds too, and don't fob us off.

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