The initial ‘choice’ appointment lasts approximately one hour. Whilst we prefer young people to attend the initial appointment with their parents or carers, young people themselves may also be offered the opportunity to have some individual time. We will explore whether or not our service is best placed to help or if another service would be more appropriate to meet your needs. By the end of the appointment we will have agreed with you and your parents/ carers what happens next.
If it is agreed that CAMHS is best placed to provide a service or if more specialist care is needed, further ‘partnership’ appointments are offered. These appointments usually last approximately one hour each and could be with the young person on their own, the whole family or just with parents or carers. With your agreement, sometimes these appointments may also include other specialist professionals, either from within our service or from other agencies you may be working with. We will ask for feedback from young people and their parents or carers, completing questionnaires regularly to understand your difficulties and to see if we are making a difference.
Medication is very rarely initiated as a first line intervention in children and young people experiencing mental health issues. This is however assessed on an individual basis and where medication is clinically indicated you will be offered an appointment with a psychiatrist for further specialist assessment and advice.
Young people are invited to attend with their family with the aim of understanding the psychological and physical impact and risks the suspected eating disorder is having on the young person and their family. We meet with the young person together with their family and separately on their own to ensure we have gathered all the relevant information required to complete a risk assessment.
This first appointment can take up to two hours so please allow for plenty of time. We may also follow up with some further assessment/ intervention appointments exploring in more detail dietary/ meal management, a family meal session, physical risk monitoring, essential education on the risks of starvation as well as some initial anxiety management.
Once our assessment is complete based on psychological and physical risks you will be partnered with an appropriate health professional from the team based on your needs. This may be as an out-patient or a combination of intensive day treatments, group work and family-based treatments.
Family work is a way of working with families so that they can understand and deal more effectively with any difficulties that family members may be experiencing. The aims of the family work are to draw upon the strengths and commitment of families to help tackle difficulties, improve communication, and help family members to understand each other better and to work together.
CAMHS runs family therapy clinics at Ty Bryn Unit St Cadoc’s Hospital, Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, and Nevill Hall Children’s Centre. We use a small suite of two rooms’ separated by one-way screen that looks like a mirror from the interview room side. On the other side of the mirror the remaining team members pay close attention to the information and detail you will bring to the session. You will notice two small cameras and two microphones in the corners of the room, this equipment allows the team members to see and hear the conversation in the interview room. You will see one member of the family therapy team. While you are talking with the therapist the other members of the team will be following the discussion from behind the one-way screen. This ensures that your family can draw on the ideas and wide ranging experience of the full team.
At some point during your session the team members will be invited to share their ideas with you. This can be done in the interview room while you and your therapist listen and then reflect on the team’s ideas. Alternatively the therapist can join the team in the observing room to hear their ideas and then return and share them with you, giving your family an opportunity to consider the session in privacy.
If you have been referred to the neurodevelopmental team, this will be for assessment to investigate whether you meet the criteria for a diagnosis of a neurodevelopmental condition, such as Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Some of your appointments will be with your parents/ carers only and others will be with you individually and/ or with your parents/ carers. We may ask you to get involved in some games or activities when you meet with us.
The following new virtual tours of our clinics at Ty Bryn Unit and White Valley Centre will help young people and their carers to familiarise themselves with the clinics and hopefully lessen their anxiety when they come to see us for their appointments. (Please use Microsoft Edge to view the tours)
Confidentiality is maintained within the multi-disciplinary team as far as is compatible with therapeutic effectiveness and the best interests of the child or young person in line with the requirements of the Children Act (1989) and the All-Wales Child Protection Procedures.
The service recognises the importance of inter-agency liaison with this age-group. However, prior to sharing information with other agencies, permission is sought from those with parental responsibility and from children and young people with sufficient understanding to give consent.
Where a young person discusses something that identifies any potential risk of harm to themselves or to other people, this information will need to be shared for everyone’s protection.
We realise that there are some things you might want to talk about that you might not want your parents to know. We respect this, and what you tell us in individual meetings stays private unless we become very concerned about your safety or the safety of others. Before sharing anything with your parents we would always aim to talk to you first.
There are a wide range of mobile apps available to download that may be able to help you with your mental health and emotional well-being. Before downloading any app onto your smartphone, always consider whether you are downloading from a reputable source, check the permissions that the app wishes to access on your phone, the number of times the app has already been downloaded and read any reviews on the app first.
You may wish to have a look at the NHS Apps Library for a full list of apps and websites approved by or currently being tested in the NHS. The library has a selection of tools that have gone through a technical assessment; this seeks clarification from developers and vendors regarding compliance with the Data Protection Act, through to collecting personal data and other key areas.
Gaming is immensely popular, with both benefits and cautions for mental health. When playing interactive video games, it is vital to ensure that these are age appropriate using the PEGI classification system. Gaming can be an incredibly immersive virtual experience that may lead to excessive game play, and must therefore be balanced with a range of other social, leisure, self-care and educational activities.
Check out the following links for some interactive games specific to mental health and emotional well-being:
Do you have any other questions you would like answered here? Please feel free to contact us with your questions and we can add them to the website:
Tel: 01633 436831 (Monday – Friday 9:00am -5:00pm)