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What we do

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Welcome to Bucks CAMHS

You’ll hear this abbreviation a lot, so let’s explain it now.

CAMHS simply stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

Basically, CAMHS helps young people overcome emotional difficulties in their lives.

Check out our Positive Mental Health Guide for more information on how Bucks CAMHS supports young people.

CAMHS support a variety of children and young people from 0 to 18 years old with different needs.

This ranges from moderate anxiety, to depression and eating disorders. CAMHS consists of different teams which include:

  • Community CAMHS
  • CAMHS Outreach Service (OSCA)
  • Neuropsychiatry Service
  • Learning Disabilities
  • CAMHS services for high risk young people

Each team works in a slightly different way, but all want to work with you to support you through your CAMHS journey. This could include meetings with parents, home visits, group sessions or individual meetings with you and your CAMHS worker.

Your first appointment at CAMHS will be your assessment where you will meet with a CAMHS worker and your parent or guardian. This is to help with getting to know you and deciding the pathway of support CAMHS can offer you.

An assessment doesn’t necessarily mean you will need to have follow up appointments, but there are other local support services which CAMHS will be able to recommend for you. You might be paired with a Barnardo’s Buddy who will offer you personal support during your time at CAMHS.

There may be a waiting time between your referral and your assessment. If in this time things get tough and you feel in need of support, contact CAMHS to update them on your current situation to see what they can do to help.

How long will my assessment appointment take?

You will usually meet with the people from CAMHS for up to an hour and a half for your first appointment, and if you are allocated a Buddy he/she may be able to support you with this. Some people find that they might not feel very keen to return to work or school immediately after talking about important or difficult issues, so it might be worth considering whether you want to take time out afterwards.

Who will I meet with?

You will usually meet with two people, one of whom will be a qualified member of the team. They will explain what their job or profession is, you can find some information here in the meet the teams leaflet. Sometimes we have people training or studying to become professionals working within the team.

What will actually happen during the assessment?

Mostly what will happen will be talking. We will ask some questions, and you will have the chance to ask us questions and say what you think is important.

Sometimes we check height, weight, blood pressure and pulse if there is a need to check your physical health but we do not give injections.

Will I get a chance to talk on my own?

Yes! We try to give children and young people as well as parents/carers a space to talk on their own with someone. However, you can choose to only talk together if this is what you would prefer.

What will happen afterwards?

By the end of the first appointment you will be told what is going to happen next.

You may be told you will be contacted about possible care or treatment.

Sometimes we need to see you again to find out more information. We will ask your permission to get or give information to someone else, such as your school or other people who may be involved in supporting you, if this is useful for your care.

You're not alone

This page has been put together by a group of young people working to improve mental health services in Buckinghamshire

Since we’ve all been through these services, we know how nerve-racking it can be before your first appointment. 

This page aims to give you some helpful information about what to expect.

What services do we offer?

How are you feeling?

Need some help? Find out how we can help you, and access links to resources to help yourself. 

Getting involved

From interviewing potential staff members to making awareness videos, the young people and children who use our services shape what we do. 

Illustration of young people volunteering to get involved in their care.

Need help now!

Quick and clear information about what to do in a mental health crisis. 

Illustration of a young person reaching out to a professional for health.

Last updated: 12 September, 2019