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A guide to mental health services in England

CAMHS information for children and young people

Growing up is not easy, and sometimes it's hard to cope with whatever life throws at you.

CAMHS  - child and adolescent mental health services  - can help if you:

  • feel sad or like you don't want to be here any more
  • have problems with your family, friends or at school
  • hurt yourself or want to hurt yourself
  • feel anxious and scared
  • have problems with eating and food
  • have trouble talking or sleeping
  • hear voices or see things
  • feel angry or are struggling to control your behaviour or temper
  • find it hard to concentrate or get on with friends
  • have to check or repeat things, or worry about germs
  • don't like yourself or have low self-confidence 

Check out our youth mental health hub. Find help and support for  problems such as depression, anxiety, self-harm, stress, bullying,  eating disorders or self-esteem.

Or explore the Royal College of Psychiatrists parents and youth leaflets. This index provides information about mental health tailored for young people, parents, teachers and carers.


What can I expect from my CAMHS appointment?

Knowing what to expect when you are going to CAMHS will help you feel more in control of what's happening. Rethink has a guide that offers tips about what to expect and ask during your first CAMHS appointment and beyond.

You may be asked a lot of questions, and people might want to talk your family. This is because the people you see will want to get a good understanding of the problem, how you see it, and what ideas you might have about dealing with it. Once they have a good sense of the person you are and what you want, they will suggest different things that can help and you'll decide what to do next together.

Watch the videos on My CAMHS Choices where young people answer 'What will it be like when I come to CAMHS?'


Need support during treatment?


Want to speak to someone anonymously?

If you would like to chat to someone anonymously, you could try calling a helpline or visiting sites such as the ones below:


ChildLine provides a confidential telephone counselling service for any child with a problem. It comforts, advises and protects.

Get Connected

Get Connected is a free confidential telephone and email helpline that aims to find young people the best help, whatever the problem. It provides free connections to local or national services, and can text information to your mobile phone.

  • call 0808 808 4994 for free – lines are open from 1pm-11pm every day
  • text 80849 for free and get a response within 24 hours
  • email Get Connected
  • join a Webchat every day from 1pm-11pm


Page last reviewed: 26/04/2016

Next review due: 26/04/2019

The day of your assessment

  • you can take someone with you to the appointment
  • make a diary of anything you are worried about
  • have a list of everything that you want to ask
  • allow plenty of time to find the place of your appointment
  • ask for leaflets about treatments and conditions discussed or recommended websites you can access from home

Read the full guidance on mental health assessments.


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