Who's who in CAMHS

Find out more about the Who's who of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

Advocate

An advocate is someone who will represent your interest and speaks out on your behalf.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team (CAMHS)

This is a team of people who have different professional backgrounds (different skills and training). They would all know about and have experience of working with children and young people who have mental health difficulties.

The types of people you would see here are:

  • Psychiatrists
  • Social Workers
  • Nurses
  • Occupational Therapists 
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Counsellors
  • Family Therapists
  • Arts Therapists
  • Primary Mental Health Worker
  • Outreach Workers

Counsellors

Counsellors provide a talking treatment that aims to help people to find ways of coping with problems that they might be experiencing.  Check out Youth Access for more information.

Family Doctor or General Practitioner (GP)

A family doctor or GP will provide a range of services including:

  • Talking through problems
  • Prescribing medication, where necessary
  • Making referrals to another specialist, for example a counsellor or psychiatrist, where necessary

Contact your doctor straight away if you have concerns about your physical or mental health.

Health visitors

These are qualified nurses with specialist training who work in the community.

Mental Health Act commissioner (MHAC)

A MHAC can visit and privately interview patients detained in hospitals and mental health nursing homes. They have limited powers to investigate complaints and appoint panels to give second opinions on consent to treatment.

For more information visit the Care Quality Commission website.

Nurses

Psychiatric nurses, or child and adolescent mental health nurses are registered nurses who are trained in mental health.

Occupational therapist

Their role is to help people who have not been well or have had problems build up the confidence and skills needed to live a normal and fulfilling life.

Patient Advice and Liaison Services (PALS)

PALS are found in every NHS Trust. PALS help service users and their carers to resolve problems and concerns with care and treatment within the Trusts  themselves.

If this is not possible, PALS make referrals to organisations external to the Trust, such as ICAS.

Independent Complaints Advocacy Service (ICAS)

ICAS is a free service, independent of the NHS, which supports service users and carers wishing to make a complaint about their NHS treatment or care. Paediatricians are doctors who specialise in child health.

Psychiatrists

These are doctors who specialise in children and young people’s mental health.

Psychologists

There are different types of psychologists, but they all help with the way that people behave and the way they feel and think about things. Some of the psychologists you might meet are Clinical Psychologists, and Educational Psychologists.

Psychotherapists

Psychotherapists go deeper than counsellors. The aim is to help you to understand why you feel the way you do, and what lies behind your responses to other people and to things that happen to you.

Researchers

This is someone whose job it is to carry out proper tests to make sure treatments or types do help people who have mental difficulties.

Self-help and support groups

These groups offer an opportunity to meet up with other people who are in a similar situation. They can break down feelings of isolation and, at the same time, show how other people have coped.

Finding that you support others may help you too. Issues may include bereavement, eating distress and sexual abuse.

Social workers

There are different types of social worker.  Some will help you if you are in danger of being abused, or if you are in care. Some social workers are specially trained in mental health and can offer counselling.

A psychiatric social worker is a specialist who works closely with individuals and families to support them either through crises or in the longer term.

Special Educational needs coordinators (SENCO)

SENCO has responsibility, in schools for the coordination of provision for children with special educational needs such as learning difficulties.

Speech and language therapists and occupational therapists

These therapists focus on developing specific skills and communication and physical abilities and coordination. Other therapists include art therapist, drama therapists, education therapists, and music therapists.

Youth offending workers

Youth offending workers identify the needs of each young offender through assessment and finds suitable programmes to address the needs of the young person to prevent future offending