Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
Fife Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is for children and young people up to 18 years who are experiencing persistent, complex or severe mental health difficulties.
Office hours: 8.30am - 4.30pm, Monday to Friday.
Out with these hours: contact NHS24 (111) or in an emergency, go to the closest A&E department. Alternatively, contact Childline (0800 1111) or Samaritans (116 123).
CAMHS does not provide an emergency service. However, CAMHS is committed to respond helpfully to requests for an urgent assessment and to provide, at the very least, same day telephone consultation to those seeking support and advice. If you feel there is a clear need for an urgent assessment, please phone the numbers above.
What is CAMHS?
CAMHS is a service for children and young people up to 18 years who are experiencing persistent, complex or severe mental health difficulties.
CAMHS is a multi-disciplinary service which includes Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Mental Health Nursing, Clinical Psychology, Child Psychotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Systemic Psychotherapy, Art Therapy and Social Work. CAMHS is supported by Secretarial and Clerical staff. The multi-disciplinary teams work throughout Fife to meet the needs of children and young people with complex mental health difficulties. The clinical teams include:
- CAMHS Primary Mental Health Workers (PMHW)
- Family Therapy Service
- Intensive Therapy Service (ITS)
- Looked After and Accommodated Children Service (The Beeches & Springfield Project)
- Multi-disciplinary teams (East and West)
- Self Harm Support Service
- Trauma Service (Sea View Project)
What does CAMHS do?
The CAMHS teams provide specialist assessment and a range of evidence-based, therapeutic interventions to individuals, groups, families/carers and wider support networks depending on the presenting need. CAMHS also provides consultation and supervision to professionals who support children and young people with mental health issues.
CAMHS offers specialist assessment and interventions for complex difficulties that often overlap such as:
- Acts of self-harm and/or thoughts of suicide
- Attachment difficulties
- Changes to sleep or appetite
- Eating disorders and disordered eating such as food restriction, self-induced vomiting, purging or significant reduction in body weight
- Extreme distress such as explosive outbursts or acute agitation
- Increased, persistent anxiety
- Persistent mood disturbance
- Persistent, obsessive or repetitive behaviours that interfere with daily function
- Significant changes in interests or motivation
- Social withdrawal
- Unusual behaviour or confusion, “voices” or other abnormal experiences/disturbed thinking
Getting it Right for Every Child (GIRFEC)
The Getting it Right in Fife Framework describes how Universal, Additional and Intensive services can work effectively to promote the wellbeing of children and young people by providing flexible and proportionate interventions. A fundamental principle is that, as far as possible, children and young people are supported by Universal provision prior to any intervention by Additional services and subsequent input from Intensive supports.
CAMHS is specialist provision that sits at the top end of Intensive support and therefore intervention at other support levels should be actively engaged prior to referral. CAMHS is unable to respond to referrals that result from a lack of appropriate resources in other services.
When thinking about referring to CAMHS, consider the 5 GIRFEC questions, alongside the views of the child/young person and their family/carers before deciding on any further action:
- What is getting in the way of this child’s or young person’s well-being?
- Do I have all the information I need to help this child or young person?
- What can I do now to help this child or young person?
- What can my agency do to help this child or young person?
- What additional help, if any, may be needed from others?
Who can refer?
Any professional working with children and young people can refer to CAMHS. Please consider liaising with the CAMHS Primary Mental Health Workers (01334 696234) or consulting with the Team around the child to ensure appropriate Universal/Additional services have been accessed prior to referral.
Please go to Choosing the Right Support to help identify the most appropriate support for the child or young person you are concerned about.
If you are a parent or carer and have concerns about your child's mental health, please contact your health visitor, school, GP, social worker or other professional involved with your family. The Self Harm Support Service can be contacted directly, by phoning East CAMHS or West CAMHS on the above numbers.
CAMHS overview (10.07.18)