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Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board

North Wales Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service




Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Mental Health?

Mental health is to do with how we feel inside, how in control we feel and how able to cope we are.

What is CAMHS?

CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.  Staff within this service can help children and young people when they are feeling sad, worried or troubled.

Will people think I’m mad if I go to CAMHS?

Some young people feel uncomfortable seeing CAMHS because they’re worried that people might think they’re mad.  If your feelings or behaviour have started to get in the way of your day to day life, you are not alone: 1 in every 10 young people will go through problems to do with their mental health and wellbeing.

How do I get an appointment to see CAMHS?

The first step is usually to speak to your doctor, teacher or school nurse.  They’ll ask you to tell them a bit about the kind of problems you’re experiencing so that they can think about what sort of help you might need.  This might involve them arranging for you to have an appointment with CAMHS.  This is called being ‘referred’ to CAMHS.

Is there anything I can do while I wait?

There are lots of websites and helplines that offer information and support.  See the LINKS page for more details.

Who will come with me to my appointment?

It is important for your family or carers to be involved in the process.  You can talk to CAMHS staff about who you would like to come to appointments with you and whether you would like to speak to staff on your own.

Who will I see?

There are lots of different staff in CAMHS.  Each service is different, but staff might include: doctors, nurses, psychologists, primary mental health specialists and other therapists. (these would be links to jargon buster)

What sort of things will CAMHS do to help me?

There are different treatment options called ‘interventions’.  These might include different types of talking therapies or taking medicine.  Which options are open to you will depend on what sort of problems you are experiencing.

Will people find out I’m seeing CAMHS?  Who will know what I say?

There are rules about sharing information about you, people are only told what they need to know in order to help you. Sometimes when staff are worried about your safety, they may have to tell certain people certain things about you, this is part of their job to keep you safe.

How long will I be with CAMHS?

This depends on the kind of problems you’re experiencing.  Some people only need to see CAMHS a couple of times, others will see CAMHS for several months and some may see CAMHS for a year or more.