Child and Adolescent
Mental Health Service
About CAMHS in Leeds
CAMHS is a specialist mental health service for children and young people. Our staff are highly trained in a range of different assessment techniques and evidence based therapies. Staff work closely in teams so that we can offer services tailored to the needs of the children, young people and families we see.
This is what children, young people and families tell us about coming to Leeds CAMHS.
Feeling comfortable and being able to talk freely is important. We will check with you what information we can share and who with. There are sometimes situations where we must share information (for example if someone was in danger). We would try to discuss this with you first. Any records we keep about you or your sessions are stored very securely.
To make sure we offer the best quality care we check how well we are doing. To do this we collect and analyse information. This is done within our organisation and nationally (to see how we compare to CAMHS services in other areas). This leaflet provides more information about this process and what it means for you.
Next Steps: When we accept a referral, we will usually see you in a Next Steps clinic. In this clinic you and a CAMHS clinician will work together to think about the difficulty and what or who might help. This is a leaflet for young people and a leaflet for parents and carers which will explain more about what to expect.
For many children, young people and families, two or three sessions are all that’s needed.
Risk Assessments: All children, young people and families that come to Leeds CAMHS are required to have a risk assessment.
A risk assessment is a helpful tool for children, young people, families and staff to identify areas which may require some additional support.
In Leeds CAMHS, a risk assessment is talked about in your first appointment. The CAMHS clinician may ask some specific questions so they can understand if there are any concerns that you may need help with. The questions they ask may include “do you have thoughts of self-harm or suicide?” or “are you aggressive towards other people?” They may also ask your parents/carers questions. Be as honest as you can. We’re not here to judge you; we are here to help you.
The answers you give may lead to the CAMHS clinician suggesting that others need to be involved in your care. This may be a CAMHS Doctor or someone else such as a teacher at school.
If there are risks that you need help with, then together you will do a plan called an ‘Our Plan’. This will give helpful hints and tips on how best to manage your worries and provide you with contact numbers / web pages for other services that can help.
If we are asked to see you urgently it will probably be because of worries about safety. We will carry out an assessment and give advice about keeping safe. We will then go on to work with you in a similar way to the consultation clinic.
Further Assessment and Therapy
If you need more help following these sessions we will plan together a package of care to suit you. Because we fit it around what you need, there is no one next step, but you will get a big say in deciding what comes next.
Some options are:
Specialist assessment: Examples of some of the specialist assessments we carry out are assessments for ADHD, eating disorders and Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC).
Therapy: Examples of some of the specialist therapy we offer are cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), family therapy and creative therapies.
Your therapist will talk through the options with you and what they think will work best for you.
Our team includes a specialist team for children with learning disabilities and their families- services are tailored to take into account their specific needs.
Intensive assessment and treatment packages
For a very small number of young people, highly intensive assessment and treatment packages are needed. Children and young people offered this will usually have had significant previous input from within our service.
Leeds CAMHS has both intensive outreach and inpatient services.
Little Woodhouse Hall is the adolescent inpatient unit in Leeds. It is for young people up to the age of 18. This leaflet by young people who have stayed at Little Woodhouse Hall tells you what to expect if you or someone you know are referred to Little Woodhouse Hall.
CAMHS nurses are also based in the Leeds YOTs (Youth Offending Teams).
What about families who need extra support to access the service?
We aim to make sure that all children, young people and families can access our service. It would be really helpful if you can let us know of any special requirements your family may have, such as disabled access, reading, hearing or language needs.
This page was reviewed and updated on 2.1.2019 (next review due January 2021)