CAMHS: A Journey of Change and Building Partnerships

The NI Commissioner for Children and Young People has praised the work of the Trust’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.

Speaking at the Trust’s CAMHS conference in Antrim, the Commissioner commended the work of the team and the positive changes which will benefit children and young people.

Marie Roulston, Director of Women, Children and Families Division said: “The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) has faced significant challenges in the past with the volume of referrals, long waiting times and under resourcing.

“As a result, in 2012, the Trust commissioned Dawn Rees, a past Director of the National CAMHS Improvement Programme and CAMHS policy advisor to Government Departments, to undertake an independent in-depth review of the service. Her report and recommendations provided a roadmap for the transformation of the service.

“Alongside the Rees Report the DHSSPS issued and resourced a regional model for CAMHS delivery, an emotional health and well-being model known as `The Stepped Care Model`.

“This stepped response begins with community services charged with prevention; supported by a Primary Mental Health Team (PMHT) providing early intervention services; a Crisis Response and Home Treatment team (CRHT) to provide support to children and young people with acute mental health presentations . In addition there is a multi-disciplinary Specialist CAMHs team which provides support and help to those with moderate to severe mental health problems. These teams commissioned by the HSCB have made a wonderful contribution to CAMHS.

“Our PMH team are promoting and supporting early intervention in children’s mental health, helping reduce the number of children and young people requiring specialist support. Our Crisis Response Team is providing crisis cover 9am – 9pm weekdays and 10am – 2pm weekends and bank holidays. The outcome of the introduction of these teams means that young people have timely and appropriate access to treatment and support based on their presenting needs.

“Alongside The Stepped Care Model, CAMHS has introduced CAPA, (Choice and Partnership Approach) a system that combines collaborative and participatory practice with children, young people and their carers to improve outcomes.

“The Trust is now in a place where we have stabilised the changes and can confidently communicate our progress and how people can be supported by CAMHS. We have a service and workforce equipped to meet the needs of children, young people and families”.

9th June 2016

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