Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

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Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is a name for NHS-provided services for children in the mental health arena in the UK. In the UK they are often organised around a 4 Tiers system. Tier 3 services are typically multidisciplinary in nature and the staff come from a range of professional background.

There may be a considerable overlap between the skills and competencies of staff working in the specialist services. Tier 4 are highly specialist services for young people. These are typically inpatient units for young people who require admission into hospital, but also include a range of other Tier 4 provision. There are about 90 adolescent units in England and Wales. Tier 3 services provide care in the majority of cases requiring specialist input.

The aim is to have a team led by a consultant psychiatrist, although other models exist and there is limited evidence of what system works best. It is suggested that there should be a consultant psychiatrist for a total population of 75,000, although in most of the UK this standard is not met.

The service includes:

For the diagnosis and treatment of children and adolescents, generally until school-leaving age. However many services cease at the age of sixteen, whereas the continuing service would be provided by Adult Mental Health at the age of eighteen.

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