CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. CAMHS helps children and young people up to the age of 18 years who are finding it hard to cope with everyday life because of mental health difficulties.
We cover Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire with many different teams across our three areas. Some areas have more than one base. You can find an overview of all our services here.
Often children, young people, their families and carers will be supported by another organisation before they come to CAMHS. You can visit our conditions page here and select the condition relevant to you for further support and advice.
Most people will find the right support from one of our partner agencies. However, sometimes things can get overwhelming or they have lasted for a long time and can start to affect your day-to-day life even more. At this stage, CAMHS can often help.
We work closely with young people and their families or carers to understand what the difficulties are and how to reduce the impact these are having on your life. We work closely with other services including schools, social services and GP surgeries to support you with your mental health.
Everyone is an individual, so the help that you need will be different to anyone else. At CAMHS, we will work together with you to decide what kind of help suits you. The first appointment with CAMHS is to get to know you and your family or carers, to understand your difficulties and work out what treatment and support is likely to help you. We might suggest different treatments, like one-to-one therapy, family therapy and sometimes medication. We might also suggest working with another organisation to support you alongside CAMHS.
A film about a health appointment
If you have been offered an assessment, this will be your first appointment. Sometimes you will only need one appointment to get some advice and we will recommend things that we think will help. Other times, you might need several appointments for us to understand what is going on for you and what might help.
If we think CAMHS is the right service for you, we will offer you some more appointments. Sometimes, a few sessions will be enough to get you back on track, or we may need to see you for longer.
We want to get a better understanding of what is going on for you, so at your first appointment we will spend time talking about you, your life and what has brought you to CAMHS. We might talk about school or college, friends and family, your hobbies and interests, any support you have already received and what’s felt helpful or unhelpful. We will also talk about your current difficulties and what you would like to be different. This appointment is for you, so you can ask us lots of questions.
Page last updated: 27 January 2022