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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.

Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) can help if you:

  • feel sad or like you do not 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
  • do not like yourself or have low self-confidence

You can be referred to CAMHS by your parents, teacher, social worker or GP.

If you're old enough (over the age of 16), you can refer yourself.

Find child and adolescent mental health services near you

Get help and support for problems like depression, anxiety, self-harm, stress, bullying, eating disorders or self-esteem.

Check out our mental health hub

The Royal College of Psychiatrists also has information for young people, parents and carers about young people's mental health.

What can I expect from my CAMHS appointment?

Knowing what to expect when you're 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.

CAMHS are made up of teams of different professionals, such as psychologists, social workers, nurses and therapists.

You may be asked a lot of questions and team members might want to talk to your family.

This is because the team 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 who you are and what you want, they'll 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 talk about what it'll be like when you go to CAMHS.

Need support during treatment?

Try the HeadMeds medicines guide for young people, including information on possible side effects and young people's stories.

Want to speak to someone anonymously?

If you'd like to chat to someone anonymously, you could try calling a helpline or visiting websites such as ChildLine and The Mix.


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

You can:

The Mix

The Mix provides a free confidential telephone helpline and online service that aims to find young people the best help, whatever the problem.

You can:

Page last reviewed: 11 April 2019
Next review due: 11 April 2022