CAMHS transformation staff FAQs
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CAMHS transformation staff FAQs

Read our frequently asked questions for professionals working with children and young people.

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What is the CAMHS transformation?
Our children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are changing.

We have been working with our local clinical commissioning groups, local authorities and other partners, along with local children and young people, to co-develop a new model of care.

We are moving away from the traditional tiered service model to a THRIVE model - a national model based on needs of young people, rather than severity or diagnosis, and the support or evidence-based treatment they need to thrive and enjoy positive mental health and wellbeing.

As part of these changes, child and adolescent mental health services (also known as CAMHS) are working in a more joined-up way with other organisations to better meet children and young people’s needs, including with local schools and the voluntary sector.

CAMHS is no longer just a very specialised service - it is transforming and broadening its remit to include partnerships with third sector organisations, as well as services delivered by local councils.

The new way of working aims to ensure more children and young people can get access to the right help when they need it from a wider range of services and places.

What’s different about the new service model?
Children and young people up to age 18 are now able to self-refer to CAMHS services via drop-in café sessions. These weekly drop-ins are an opportunity to speak with a mental health professional about any concerns you have. Parents can also access the drop-ins independently.

We are at various stages of setting up the drop-in cafés across our Trust so please visit your borough's CAMHS service page for local information.

There will also be easier access to help and support for children and young people through their local schools.

Work is also underway to improve help for children and young people in crisis. Over time, families should not always need to go to A&E in a crisis and there should be more help outside of office hours. This service is still in development and support will increase over time. 

We are working together to reduce the number of children and young people who are passed between services.

These changes have started and more developments are taking place over the next year.

The new model will see support grouped into four quadrants. These are: getting advice, getting help, getting more help and getting risk support.
  • Getting advice – getting advice will support timely access to services. One of these elements is our Mind Works drop-in cafés for children and young people that run every week, where they can speak with a mental health professional for consultation, assessment, brief intervention and signposting. We are also developing links with local schools and social care.
  • Getting help – getting help is for children and young people who need additional support from children and young people’s mental health services, including NHS, council and third sector. Children and young people would be receiving no more than two different types of evidence-based interventions (eg medication and family therapy). 
  • Getting more help – getting more help is similar to getting help but is for young people who have more complex needs that need a number of different types of intervention. Children and young people would either be receiving three or more different types of evidence based interventions from CAMHS or one or more interventions from CAMHS and additional support from other agencies (eg social care).
  • Getting risk support – getting risk support is for children and young people who are unable or not ready to engage with or access support from mental health services and involves supporting professionals involved with their care (eg social workers) to help keep the young person safe.
You can download a visual of the new service model here.

How can I make a referral for one of my patients or someone I support?
Children and young people can access support without a referral by attending one of our drop-in cafés, where they can speak to a mental health professional for assessment, brief intervention and signposting to services.

We are at various stages of setting up the drop-in cafés across our Trust. To check the details of your local drop-in cafés, visit your local CAMHS service page on our website.

As with the previous model, we also accept referrals from health professionals. To download the new referral form, visit the health professionals section of our website.

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