Child and adolescent mental health

Mental health can be described as someone’s overall psychological and emotional wellbeing. A mental health problem is when a situation or problem affects the way someone thinks and feels and leads to them finding it hard to cope with family life, school or the wider world. It can happen to anyone, regardless of age, ethnicity, religion or IQ. Often, it occurs if someone experiences something traumatic, such as bereavement, bullying or abuse, or a stressful family life, but sometimes it can happen without these triggers. It isn’t the person’s fault and is nothing for them to be ashamed about.

It’s important to remember that just because someone has experienced a mental health problem at some stage in their life, it doesn’t mean they will always have this problem. People may have different ideas and cultural beliefs about mental health. CAMHS respects this and will always try to work with you and your family.
Read more about the kind of mental health problems CAMHS can help with

What is a diagnosis?

When you visit your general practitioner (GP) about a physical health problem, they talk to you about your symptoms, how long you have had them and the effect this has on your life in order to diagnose what illness or condition you have. The diagnosis helps them to decide on the most appropriate treatment.

In the same way, we talk to children, young people and their families in order to understand their problems better and discuss and agree with them about how best we can help. They may provide a diagnosis, which is a description of problems or symptoms that usually occur together. However, it is important to remember that not all problems fit neatly into one diagnosis. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s diagnosis, you should talk about this with CAMHS staff.

Useful links

Young Minds is a website containing information about wellbeing and mental health for children. It also has a section for parents.

Rethink provides information about looking after your mental health and different mental health problems, with a section for carers, family and friends.