Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service aims to promote emotional well-being and deliver care,  treatment and preventative mental health services to children and young people aged 0 – 18 years of age who experience significant mental health difficulties.

The service  works in many different ways with children and young people, depending on their needs :-

  • We employ specialist mental health workers (for example : Clinical Nurse Specialists, Mental Health Social Workers, Consultant Psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologists, Family Therapists) to work with children and young people who have complex mental health needs. The professionals also provide support to parents and carers.
  • We also work with and support children and young people who may need very specialist treatment from services such as: the Eating Disorder Service, the Drug and Alcohol Mental Health Service (D.A.M.H.S.) and where necessary, refer children and young people who may need a stay in hospital for intensive care, support and treatment.

We also offer support and training to staff in schools, youth workers, G.P.s and others who work alongside children and young people, so they know what mental health difficulties are and how they can help.

Please see the following documents:

A Young Person’s Guide to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Northern Ireland

A Young Person’s Guide to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in Northern Ireland (Interactive Version)

 

 


 

How to Access this Service

If you think you need to see someone from C.A.M.H.S. or you care for a child / young person who you think might need some specialist help, the first step is to talk to someone. In most situations this could be your GP but it could also be a teacher, school nurse, or family social worker. They will ask you how you or the child / young person is feeling and then decide whether a referral should be made to C.A.M.H.S. This means they will write to the local clinic explaining the reasons they think it would be helpful for C.A.M.H.S. to offer you an appointment.

Services are offered to children / young people up to the age of 18 years, who are experiencing significant / complex mental health difficulties, such as: suicidal thoughts, self-harming, depression, acute anxiety, eating disorders, trauma,  ADHD / Autism.

Some of the services we offer are local, and only available to children and young people living in Belfast or the South Eastern Trust area.  Other services are regional, and available to children and young people living across Northern Ireland.  The locations section (below) will tell you which services are local and which are regional

Once you / your child has been referred to C.A.M.H.S. you will receive an appointment letter. The waiting time for the appointment will vary, but should not exceed 13 weeks.

Parents / carers are usually invited to attend the appointment with the child / young person. This initial meeting will allow us to assess your child, ask questions about how they are feeling, and what might be causing them to feel this way. We will ask for your input throughout the assessment. Once we have met with your child, we will then be able to consider the best course of treatment / intervention / support service to meet his / her needs. We will provide a service in partnership with the child / young person /parents / carers.

 


 

Location

  • The Child & Family Consultation Service    (Belfast District)
    Royal Victoria Hospital

  • The Young People’s Centre (028) 9504 0365 (Belfast District) .

  • The Crisis Assessment and Intervention Team (C.A.I.T.)  (Belfast & South-Eastern areas)
    10 College Gardens

  • The Eating Disorder Service (Belfast & South-Eastern areas)
    Woodstock Lodge

  • The Drug and Alcohol Mental Health Service (Belfast & South-Eastern areas)
    10 College Gardens

 

  • The Child & Family Consultation Service (North Down & Ards District)
    Family Resource Centre
    James Street,
    Newtownards,
    County Down.
    Tel. 028 91825600
  • The Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service (Down & Lisburn District)
    Lagan Valley Site
    91 Hillsborough Road,
    Lisburn.
    Tel. 028 92 501265

A range of other community settings are also used such as: the Bradbury Clinic, Warren Children's Centre (Lisburn), Bernagh House (Downpatrick), and other venues in Belfast and the South East.