Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Marlborough Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is a community service for young people and their families and carers based at the Lavington Centre at Savernake Hospital.

The service works with young people up to the age of 18 years old who experience a variety of mental health issues and hosts a discrete service for neurodevelopmental issues, learning disabilities and eating disorders.

One parent who left a review said: “Great service and has helped myself and my daughter a lot.”

The service has an integrated crisis support model that focuses on preventing and facilitating safe discharge from inpatient admission and to provide intensive work to manage risk and promote engagement.

The team includes people with backgrounds in psychiatry, clinical psychology, nursing, occupational therapy, social work, support work, family therapy, child and adolescent psychotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy, art therapy and a team of administrators who keep everything running very smoothly.

Another parent said: “The people I saw were absolutely brilliant at understanding my daughter’s complex needs. They gave wonderful trauma counselling and therapy, and treated all of us with respect and kindness, understanding and empathy. They gave us reassurance that this was something we could overcome and that we were in very capable and experienced hands.”

As the pandemic emerged, there was a break before the service began to see the toll of lockdown on young people who were already struggling with mental health issues.

The increase in referrals for young people presenting with eating disorders has been unprecedented and the team has also noticed an increase in the severity of young people presenting with suicidal ideation and deliberate self-harm.

Nel Bartlett, clinical team manager, said: “Throughout the most difficult times, the team has been constant in their mission to provide a safe and caring service and the quality of what they do has not faltered.  These extraordinary people have embraced the situation and faced new ways of working in such a positive manner that being in the team helps everyone to remain buoyant.”

Another parent said it allowed her daughter to talk openly and the support they received was “kind and compassionate.”

“Everyone here is kind, thoughtful and helpful. Nothing is too much trouble, said another patient of the service.

Find out more about the service here and get the right support for your child.