Parents with children under five

Types of problems CAMHS can help with

Children under five years old also experience emotional and behavioural difficulties that CAMHS might be able to help with. These could include:

  • Finding it hard to settle or having difficulty sleeping
  • Being clingy
  • Having problems with wetting or soiling
  • Temper tantrums
  • Eating issues
  • Being withdrawn

Whilst all of the above are normal to some extent, if any of these problems start to take over day-to-day life, or you feel as a parent you are not enjoying your child or not able to cope a lot of the time, then you may need some extra support.

Certain issues can put additional strain on the early relationship between carer and child, such as a traumatic birth, post-natal depression or the loss of another baby. Family problems can also add stress, including domestic violence, parental mental health problems, neglect or abuse in a parent’s own childhood.

Getting support

If you are having problems then support from your health visitor, local children’s centre or general practitioner (GP) can be really helpful in addressing these early on.

Sometimes they might refer you on to CAMHS, who can provide specialist support for you and your family. Contact your local CAMHS to see what support they can offer.

Because children under five are less able to make use of talking therapy, help from CAMHS might involve working with you on parenting strategies, seeing you together with your child to support your relationship and/or allowing the child space to express themselves through play or other means.

Support from children’s centres

Across Central and North West London and Milton Keynes there is a range of services for families with children under five years old, including health, education and family support. Local children’s centres act as hubs for these services which include:

  • Play sessions
  • Early learning and childcare
  • Health visiting
  • Breast feeding support groups (available in community languages)
  • Family learning
  • Adult education classes and training
  • Individual support through home visiting
  • Parenting support

You can find details of children’s centres near you as follows:

Netmums also provide parenting information and advice.

What did other people say?

We asked some families how coming to CAMHS has helped them. Here’s what they told us:

“I like coming [here] because it makes my dad happy.”
(Child, aged four)

“The groups have helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. Both of us have become happier. You have helped save our family unit: our marriage, our mother-baby and father-baby unit. Thank you!”
(Mum attending a mothers and babies group)