We work in partnership with third sector providers, local authorities, parents, carers and children and young people to make sure that the right care is provided to each individual, depending on their needs and circumstances.
We see families here at Alder Hey. We also see children and young people and their families at Innovation Park. Our community teams also work out of Sefton (Burlington House and Southport Health and Wellbeing Centre).
You can find out more about the Liverpool CAMHS Partnership website.
If you or someone you care about is in a mental health crisis, please contact the CAMHS Crisis Care service.It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can be contacted by either of the below numbers:
Community Mental Health Services here at Alder Hey
Some of the issues we can help with include:
- Attachment Difficulties
- Conduct/Behaviour Problems
- Eating disorders
- Emotional and Behavioural difficulties in children with Learning Disabilities
- Obsessions and Compulsions
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- More complex psychological difficulties
We also provide consultation, advice and training to other agencies and accept referrals from a wide range of professionals. The team is multi-disciplinary, which means our clinicians come from a range of clinical and professional backgrounds.
Useful information on different challenges and support whilst waiting can be found here:
Refer to us
Former CAMHS patients tell their stories – Courtesy of BBC North West
Information for families
Here are some questions young people have asked us. If you don’t find an answer to your question here, please call us on 0151 293 3662 and we will be happy to have a chat with you.
How can I access CAMHS?
If you are worried about your child’s emotional and mental health, you can seek a referral from any professional connected with your child (e.g. GP, Social Worker, Health Visitor, School Nurse or Teacher). You can now also self-refer your child to CAMHS by getting in touch with our team.
Every weekday we have a team of experienced mental health professionals who look at the referrals that we receive. Their task is to decide whether it looks from the information as if CAMHS is the right service to help, they then decide whether the referral should be treated as urgent or routine. Urgent appointments are seen within two weeks and routine appointments are seen as soon as possible (and within the maximum wait time of 18 weeks).
What to expect at your first appointment?
Your first appointment is called a ‘Choice’ appointment. We call it this because we hope to give children, young people and families and carers as much choice as possible in the plans that are made to start helping.
You will meet with an experienced member of our team who will work with you to develop an initial shared understanding of the difficulties. We will be asking you what you are worried about, what you have already tried and what you would like to change. We will help you to think about whether our service or other services are best placed to help. We will also be considering risk, what you might be able to do for yourselves and what the intervention options are. Ultimately, your ‘Choice’ appointment(s) should help bring you to a point where you can make an informed decision about what is needed.
Your ‘Choice’ Clinician will then direct you to the most appropriate part of our service if we think that CAMHS interventions are likely to be helpful and effective. In most cases, the next person you meet will be your ‘Partnership’ Clinician who will oversee any on-going care.
What happens next?
We hope that between your ‘Choice’ and ‘Partnership’ appointments that the advice you have been given and the changes you begin to make will have been helpful. There are several aims of the first ‘Partnership’ session. Firstly, there will be a chance to revisit your goals and see if these have changed at all. We will also begin a more in-depth assessment to reach a shared understanding and develop a plan of action and support.
Your ‘Partnership’ Clinician will have a set of core clinical skills, mental health training, experience, and expertise. However, you are experts in your own family and your own experiences, and we will work in partnership with you to offer as many or as few sessions as are needed to move towards your goals. On average, seven or eight sessions appear to be enough to achieve some meaningful change; however, decisions about on-going care or discharge will be made at regular review appointments. The care that you receive will also be discussed within a multi-disciplinary team.
Sometimes, your ‘Partnership’ Clinician will want to introduce another therapist to you or your child. This would be to add a specific assessment or therapy skill to your bespoke package of intervention. This might be about providing a short piece of intensive work/assessment or a longer-term piece of work at an enhanced level.
In general, the care that your family and your child would fall into the following areas:
- Consultation and Multi-Agency Work
- Extended Assessment
- Individual Therapeutic Interventions
- Family Interventions
- Group Based Interventions
How do we measure change?
We are committed to delivering high quality, evidence-based and effective support. From the beginning of your involvement with us we will be monitoring the impact of any interventions. You will be asked to fill in some questionnaires that will be repeated throughout the time that we spend with you and your family. The questionnaires will help us to determine the severity of difficulties and will also help us to monitor change over time. We will also ask you to feed back to us about your experience of our service.
Information for professionals
Comprehensive Child and Adolescent Mental Health provision in Liverpool and Sefton is provided through an array of services that are commissioned across multiple agencies and professional disciplines.
Whilst these services do work together, efficiency and effectiveness is maximised by ensuring children and young people access the most appropriate type of service to meet their presenting difficulties at that particular time.
Types of problems CAMHS can help with include violent or angry behavior, depression, eating difficulties, low self-esteem, anxiety, obsessions or compulsions, sleep problems, self-harming and the effects of abuse or traumatic events. CAMHS can also diagnose and treat mental health problems such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
If you are looking for an assessment and/or diagnosis of ASD, ADHD or other developmental conditions, we are not the service you are looking for and referrals should be made to Community Paediatricians for oversight (see exclusion criteria below).
We take referrals for any professional working with children. However, it is essential that referrals are consented to either by the person who holds parental responsibility and/or the young person where they have capacity to consent.
Referral criteria for further assessment
The Child / Young Person must be:
- Registered with a GP in Liverpool or Sefton.
- Aged 0 – 18years at the time of referral
- If over the age of 16 years, emergency, unplanned or crisis care is provided by Merseycare (see exclusion criteria)
- Presenting with signs indicative of, or on-going symptoms of mental health difficulties that
- impacts upon their developmental functioning or
- is likely to result in significant risk to themselves or others
- A less intensive intervention (e.g. school based parenting groups, guided self-help) or Adult Mental health service for 16-18 year olds (e.g. Inclusion Matters, ) is unlikely to suffice
- Valid, informed consent has been obtained from the Young Person where applicable, or person(s) with Parental Responsibility
- Any current safeguarding issues must have been referred to Social Care
- Evidence and/or guidance would suggest that an intervention from the Specialist CAMH service would ameliorate the presenting risk and support the return of the young person to acceptable levels of functioning.
We will not accept referrals where the child or young person is:
- Is over 16 years of age and requires emergency, unplanned or crisis care
- Referral goes to Merseycare Access Team
- Has not, or refuses to give consent to intervention
- Consider if serious enough to warrant assessment of capacity/assessment under the Mental Health Act
- Consider working with the child’s network
We do not accept referrals where the referral is a request for assessment/management of:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
- Consider Community Paediatrics/ADHD Foundation
- Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Consider ASD Pathway
- Substance misuse
- Consider Young Addaction / OKUK (Mersey Youth Association)
- Forensic risk
- YOS prevention team/FACT
- Must be referred and managed by Social Care
- Primarily issues of parental mental health / illness
- Refer to GP with recommendation for IAPT / Adult Mental Health
Specialist CAMHs welcome requests for consultation in relation to the above areas, where professionals would benefit from additional support/advice.