Frequently Asked Questions
Have any questions about what child and adolescent mental health services are or what we do here at Healthy Young Minds? Have a look through our FAQs to see if someone else has already asked us! If not, you can submit your question and we’ll add it to the list.
For Young People
CAMHS is used as a term for all services that work with children and young people who have difficulties with their emotional or behavioural wellbeing. It stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
A lot of people are worried about going to a CAMH service like Healthy Young Minds and may not want to go. The reality is that no-one can make you go. And even if you get taken, no-one can make you work with a CAMHS worker. So going to CAMHS will always be your decision. On the other hand, lots of people who did not want to go at first end up being very glad they went because they got effective help. If others are worried about you, we would recommend that you go to the first appointment with an open mind and let the worker know exactly how you feel about going back. No-one will be angry and offended if you say you don’t like what CAMHS is offering. But unless you go once, it is hard to know what you are saying no to.
There are lots of services in the community and lots of people trained to offer support to young people without them needing to go to a specialist service.
If you have been seen by Healthy Young Minds for an assessment and they have asked you to go to a different service or have suggested other ways in which you can be helped, this will be because they don’t think they are the right service for you. If you do not understand why Healthy Young Minds think that, then you can ask your parent, carer or referrer to contact us again for a clear explanation of this decision. If Healthy Young Minds have said no to your referral without seeing you, then it is likely that there was not enough information in the referral. You can ask your parent, carer or referrer to contact us again with more information if you think the wrong decision was made.
Healthy Young Minds works with children and young people with a range of emotional or behavioural problems such as anxiety, depression, OCD, trauma, eating disorders, self-harm, suicidal urges or challenging behaviours.
Healthy Young Minds also helps diagnose and then support young people with neuro-developmental disorders such as ADHD, ASD and Tic Disorders.
Healthy Young Minds does not usually work with problems like grief, anger, stress or unhappiness as these problems are usually best addressed through schools and through friends and family. Everyone has times in their life when they feel very sad and things are very difficult. It is not always helpful to see these times as being signs of mental health problems needing ‘treatment’ but as a natural part of life and living where support from friends and family and other trusted adults is the best way to move forward.
Healthy Young Minds services try to be child-friendly and comfortable. You will be seen in a normal room not a ‘clinic’ room with a bed/sink etc. like at other hospital appointments. No-one will give you any injections or tell you off. The person or people meeting with you want to understand what you are finding hard and want to find ways of helping you. You will be listened to respectfully. You will not have to talk about anything you don’t want to talk about. You will be able to make choices about the length of the appointments and the ways in which you can be helped. You will be asked for feedback regularly and services will be as flexible as possible to offer you the treatment you find most helpful, with a person you feel comfortable with.
There are different ways in which Healthy Young Minds can help. Some people find 1:1 sessions best. Others are seen with their parents or families. Sometimes parents come without young people. Sessions also vary: some treatments like CBT are structured and you will learn new behaviours and skills that you can practice at home in between sessions. Other treatments involve sand, play or art. Other treatments like counselling involve more talking and reflecting on feelings and are less structured.
It is important that you are working with someone you feel safe and comfortable with. We would always encourage you to be honest if you do not feel your therapist is right for you. It is usually possible to change therapists unless we feel that changing is not going to help you, and may get in the way of effective treatment.
Yes. Please let us know as soon as possible if this is the case, otherwise your treatment may be delayed.
You can bring anyone you trust to your first appointment. After that, you can discuss who you might like to have with you at future appointments with your Healthy Young Minds worker.
At Healthy Young Minds, we need parental consent to see you if you are under 16. So this means they need to know you are coming. There are other community and on-line resources that you can contact without your parents knowing. Go to our resource section for more information.
It can be very hard to let go of important relationships and to cope without the support of Healthy Young Minds if they have been helping you. Healthy Young Minds aims to help people develop the skills they need to cope with their own problems so discharge normally happens when a person has the ability to cope with their problems not when the problems have totally gone away. If you don’t agree that you can cope, please discuss this with your case manager as there are various ways of offering a ‘safety net’ and some on-going support even if you no longer have regular appointments.
General Questions about CAMHS
We are very keen to keep what you say confidential however there is always a limit to confidentiality. If we are concerned about your safety or the safety of other we have a responsibility to break confidentiality. In situations when we need to share information with others we would discuss this with you and explain the reasons.
We would always encourage you to discuss concerns with your Healthy Young Minds worker in the first instance but if you don’t feel comfortable doing this, or you do not feel that your concerns have been dealt with effectively we have a complaints policy. If you use this policy it means that an independent professional will review your case thoroughly and answer all the concerns in your complaint.
Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust Headquarters Complaints Department
225 Old Street
Telephone: 0161 716 3083