Difficulties at school, exam pressure, bullying or moving home or school, family separation, bereavement, or health difficulties of family members are but a few of the many reasons why a child might need help.

Things happening around them or generally how they’re thinking and feeling can make it hard to speak out as they might feel like they are causing a fuss or that they might get into trouble, they might even feel that telling someone will only make their problems worse. If they don’t speak up they often display signs that they are suffering with mental health issues and require professional help.

Signs such as:

Inward signs:

-Becoming increasingly quiet
-Becoming withdrawn and not communicating
-Lack of appetite
-Not socialising

Outward signs:

-Disrupting others
-Poor attendance to school/college
-Dropping grades
-Becoming aggressive

Children should feel they are able to confide in someone when they need to. Sometimes personal problems disrupt a child’s day-to-day life, when this occurs parents and carers may choose to seek a professional opinion. A young person’s GP, school nurse or social worker can advise on the level of support needed; and arrange a referral to CAMHS if appropriate.




The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) helps young people up to the age of 18 years old, who are struggling with their emotions, relationships, personal development or their behaviour.

What will happen at the first appointment?

A mental health practitioner or other specialist will see you and your child. In most cases this will involve discussing your concerns. The aims of the appointment will be:

• For the family and the worker to get to know each other and establish a partnership to help the child
• To attend to everyone’s queries and provide answers
• To make a plan for possible further work together

This first appointment will be for about an hour. If any family member has any special needs they can be discussed then or by telephone beforehand.

What can I do if my child doesn't want to attend an appointment?

Sometimes young people are worried about initial appointments because they don’t know what to expect. They might be worried about being blamed for problems, being embarrassed, other people finding out, or even being taken away from the family. Parents can worry about these things too.

If you can offer gentle, positive reassurance, this might be sufficient to calm a young person’s fears. Sometimes, however, a child may be so anxious that they still refuse to attend, or they may be very angry with parents and may refuse as a way of punishing them. If reassurance does not work, parents can arrange to attend an appointment on their own and discuss the situation with the practitioner. This often gives a powerful message to a young person that parents care enough about them to go to the appointment even if they are not there. This can encourage a young person to feel happier about attending further appointments.

What can I do if I feel that the therapy or help the service is providing isn't working?

You will be able to air concerns and ask further questions at each appointment when the therapy or service is reviewed.

If you feel that your concerns are not being addressed, you can contact the Team Leader. If you want to make a formal complaint about any aspect of the service, there is a complaints procedure.

We are here to listen, help and support you without any judgement so please don’t worry about meeting with us. If you have any questions or queries about your visit or the next steps please feel free to ask us.

Help for myself?

It can be stressful for a parent or carer to have their child or young person accessing CAMHS. If you feel that this is impacting upon your own emotional or mental health then there are options to provide support.

Anyone registered with a GP in the East Riding of Yorkshire & Hull with common emotional or mental health problems can access the following site for further information and support if needed.




The team at CAMHS all work together to ensure the safety and mental wellbeing of your child but we have individual staff members that specialise in different areas.


They have completed specialised training focusing on working with children and young people who struggle with mental health problems. At CAMHS they are able to advise you if your child needs medication and if any current medication is working.

Clinical psychologist

Clinical Psychologists have scientific knowledge about child development and ways in which biological, psychological and social factors impact on a child and their family. Clinical Psychologists work with a young person and their family to develop a “formulation” which will help them to understand and make sense of their experiences, decide what changes they wish to make in their life and begin to identify options for ways to help.

Click on the links to find out more about working with a clinical psychologist and the building blocks they use.


Nurses working with CAMHS are trained to support you and your family. They have a mental health nursing qualification and sometimes other speciality training, for example Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

The nurses will work with you to complete a mental health assessment of your circumstances; they will then support you in developing strategies to cope with your emotional, behavioural and mental health problems. This will be done by developing a comprehensive care plan, which will include your full input.

Family Therapists

Family therapists work with young people and their families. Family therapy is a way of helping families to share their feelings and talk about how they are getting on. Families usually find that talking about these things make relationships easier and help the family solve their problems. 

Primary Mental Health Worker

Primary Mental Health Workers are based within East Riding only and manage Contact Point. They have three main areas of expertise:

Consultation & Training to enable professionals and workers within universal services to effectively recognise children’s mental health strengths and difficulties


Liaison, Assessment and Strategic Planning to improve interagency collaboration between universal and specialist CAMHS


Consultation and joint working to ensure the provision of accessible, responsive interventions for children and families within a non-stigmatising environment

Substance Misuse Practicioner

They are responsible for providing community based therapeutic treatment service to those under the age of 18 who suffer from comorbid presentation (significant substance misuse in connection to a mental or emotion problems). This advice is offered in the aim to explain the impact of drugs and alcohol and to help set goals to help reduce and stop the usage of them. 


They are responsible for the running of CAMHS, sending out letters and forms, answering phone calls and meeting you when you first arrive.





You could talk to a professional who either knows your child well or knows the environment in which your child is having difficulties; for example, a school nurse for a child who is experiencing anxiety in school.

There are also websites which offer good ideas and advice, both directly for young people and for their parents and carers. The ones below are useful:

You can also look at local authority websites

East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Hull County Council

You can also talk about the referral and your concerns with your child and try to answer questions as sympathetically as you can. This will reassure your child and help reduce tension.