What do we do?
Our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) provides care and therapy for children and young people, aged 0-18 years, who may be experiencing a range of severe and complex difficulties with their emotional and mental health. We also work with the families or carers of the young people we work with, when appropriate. We often work closely with other relevant services like schools, colleges or local authority Children and Young People’s Services (CYPS) as they may be able to offer other types of help and support.
CAMHS provides care to children and young people across Devon, excluding Torbay and Plymouth who are catered for by Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care Trust and Plymouth NHS Trust, respectively. We see children and young people who are registered with a Devon GP although this includes those who may live over the border in the Torbay or Plymouth regions.
Who do we see?
We see children and young people who have the following types of difficulties:
Who are we?
CAMHS clinicians are appropriately qualified and have experience in a variety of fields including Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Clinical Psychology, Occupational Therapy, Psychotherapy, Family Therapy, Mental Health Nursing, Creative Therapies, Social Work or Youth Work.
How to access:
Referrals are accepted from all agencies and directly from young people or their parents/ carers.
Parents/ carers referral form – COMING SOON
Referrals should be sent in to the service via the locality offices listed below:
Eastern Devon CAMHS including Exeter, East and Mid Devon
Crispin Taylor, CAMHS Manager
Victoria Park Road
Tel: 01392 208600
Northern Devon CAMHS
Lucy Jay, CAMHS Manager
Tel: 01271 384000
Southern Devon CAMHS including west Devon but excluding Plymouth and Torbay
Lyn Davis, CAMHS Manager
Dartington, near Totnes
Tel: 01803 763500
How to access service outside of working hours – the Emergency Duty Service
Tel: 0845 6000388
Available Monday – Thursday from 5.00pm – 9.00am next day
And Fridays from 4.00pm throughout every weekend and all bank holidays until 9.00am on the next working day.
The Emergency Duty Service will discharge Devon County Council’s statutory social care responsibilities whilst ensuring public safety, by providing an emergency social care crisis response outside of normal working office hours.
The Emergency Duty Service can be contacted by adults, children, service users with mental health issues or learning disabilities, their families and carers plus concerned other parties such as neighbours or any individuals wishing to report important information or social care concerns about Devon residents or social care users.
We will respond to requests where there is a likelihood of harm without some help being offered, and those situations that cannot wait until the next working day.
How CAMHS works:
CAMHS uses a service user-focused approach called the Choice and Partnership model. When a referral is accepted we contact the young person or family to offer an initial appointment, called Choice.
Choice refers to the collaborative discussion between young people, families and clinical staff. We aim to develop a plan that will take into account the wishes and needs of the young person, whilst offering the best possible clinical options for treatment. Once this is arranged the young person/ family will be sent a confirmation letter along with a Strengths and Difficulties questionnaire (SDQ). It is helpful to have this questionnaire completed and returned to us before the initial Choice appointment.
The appointment lasts approximately one hour and in this time we will ask questions and talk to you about your concerns and difficulties as well as the positives and strengths in your life. This will help us to understand your hopes and desires for change.
Whilst we prefer young people to attend the initial appointment with their parents or carers (where appropriate) you will be offered the opportunity to have some individual time.
Working together with the young person and/ or the parent/ carer, we explore whether or not our service is best placed to help or if another service would be more appropriate for your needs. By the end of the appointment we will have agreed with the young person / family what will happen next. This plan is noted in the Choice paperwork and a copy is sent to the young person or parent/ carer (as appropriate). A copy is also sent to the referrer and GP and to other professionals involved, with consent from the young person or parent/ carer.
If it is agreed that CAMHS is best placed to provide a service or if more specialist care is needed, a further appointment will be offered. These further appointments - generally up to six sessions - are called Partnership. This represents our endeavour to work in partnership with young people and their families to achieve the best possible outcomes. The Partnership appointments will last approximately one hour each and are designed to help young people/ families achieve set goals. These meetings could be with the whole family, the young person on their own or with just the parents/ carers. Sometimes these meetings may also include other specialist professionals that are mutually felt to be helpful.
It is important to us to be able to see whether we are helping so we will ask for your help in completing questionnaires regularly. These will help us to both understand your difficulties and to see if we are making a difference. We are happy to discuss these with you in more detail.
We work in a variety of different settings e.g. health centres, family centres, GP surgeries, schools and occasionally in homes.
You have the right to expect that all information given to us in confidence will be used only for the purpose of which it was given. Information about you will not be given to others without your permission. However, in exceptional circumstances - for example, if we feel there is a risk of harm from, or to, others, or if there may be child protection/ safeguarding concerns -confidentiality may be broken. If it does become necessary to share information gained in the course of our work with other professionals that information will be kept in strict professional confidence.
A note on Child Protection
If you are concerned that a child is at risk of harm from physical, sexual, emotional abuse or neglect, you must refer in the first instance to MASH (Multi Agency Safeguarding Hub). For more information on Safeguarding Children click here
All referrals are screened on a daily basis by CAMHS and if accepted we expect to see you within six weeks for the initial Choice appointment. Urgent referrals are considered immediately and responded to appropriately e.g. where a young person may be at risk of serious harm to themselves or to others, a prioritised urgent response is made into the appropriate care pathway.
Before making a referral to CAMHS it may be appropriate to consider what is being provided from other local agencies (See Useful sites/ Resources below)
· Improved waiting times.
· Increasingly outcome-focused work with children and young people.
· Ongoing work to improve access to psychological therapies though a dedicated training programme.
· Relocation of Northern Devon CAMHS to a purpose-built building alongside our Integrated Children’s Services colleagues. We have a comfortable waiting room, clinical rooms and on-site parking.
Service Users comments:
As well as hearing your views on how we might improve our CAMHS, we are also pleased to hear when we are doing things well for young people and their families. Below are some recent examples of praise received by our staff:
“There is nothing I would change about the CAMHS service – it was perfect! Our worker was absolutely brilliant, both with our daughter and with us.”
“CAMHS were positive and helped me understand my depression – CAMHS really provide a very unique service”
“My CAMHS worker has been absolutely wonderful and made sure we have been able to seek advice as well as being extraordinarily kind, thank you!”
“My little girl desperately needed a safe and controlled way to express the big feelings that she has and to help me help her at home. Our worker expertly and kindly guided us through everything so we could help her together.”
“CAMHS offered me support and helped me see things from a different perspective. They helped me realise there were other things I could do to release my feelings”
Other useful websites:
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Page last updated: Tuesday 30 April 2013, 15:19