What is CAMHS?

CAMHS stands for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, so when we say CAMHS, we are talking about all of the services that are available to help children and young people when they are having problems to do with their emotional and behavioural wellbeing.

For more information about what CAMHS is please have a look at some of the links available on our Get Help page.

Mental health problems could include things like:

  • feeling sad or like you don’t want to be here any more
  • hurting yourself or wanting to hurt yourself
  • feeling anxious and scared
  • having problems with eating and food
  • having problems at school or with friends
  • having trouble talking or sleeping
  • hearing voices or seeing things
  • struggling to control your behaviour or temper

For more information about different types of mental health problems and treatments, you might want to look at the Choosing What’s Best for You website.

A lot of people think CAMHS is just the NHS but actually there are lots of services that can help you with the types of problems listed above. This might include private hospitals and clinics, charities and voluntary services, telephone helplines, school counsellors, youth workers, police and youth offending services.

Lots of young people find that when they first start to learn about or go to CAMHS they start to hear a lot of new words. You can find a useful list of some of these terms and what they mean in this CAMHS Glossary created by Young Minds.

Videos explaining what CAMHS is:

The following video has been made by Surrey CAMHS to explain what CAMHS is and does, based on the personal experience of some young people. The young people in this video are played by actors. Please note we do not hold responsibility for the content of external videos.

The Girl Who Never Said a Word

Feedback Emergency Exit