Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is a name for NHS-provided services for children, generally until school-leaving age, in the mental health area in the UK.

Service organisation[edit]

In the UK CAMHS are organised around a four tier system:[1]

Tier 1
general advice and treatment for less severe problems by non-mental health specialists working in general services, such as GPs, school nurses, social workers, and voluntary agencies.
Tier 2
usually CAMHS specialists working in community and primary care, such as mental health workers and counsellors working in clinics, schools and youth services.
Tier 3
usually a multi-disciplinary team or service working in a community mental health clinic providing a specialised service for more severe disorders, with team members including psychiatrists, social workers, board certified behaviour analysts, clinical psychologists, psychotherapists and other therapists.
Tier 4
highly specialist services for children and young people with serious problems, such as day units, specialised outpatient teams and in-patient units.

Generally patients cannot self-refer to Tier 3 or 4 services. Referrals can be made by a wide range of agencies and professionals, including GPs and school nurses.[2]

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.[citation needed]

The service includes:


From about 2013 onward major concerns have been expressed about reductions in CAMHS services, and apparently increasing demand, and in 2014 the parliamentary Health Select Committee investigated and reported on provision.[3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "CAMHS: Four-tier strategic framework". Department for Children, Schools and Families. 7 January 2010. Archived from the original on 2 February 2010. 
  2. ^ "Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)". Somerset Partnership Foundation Trust. Retrieved 31 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Problems with children's and adolescents. mental health services, says Committee". Health Select Committee. UK Parliament. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Major concerns about CAMHS reductions in England". British Psychological Society. 25 February 2015. Retrieved 21 March 2015. 

External links[edit]