Child and adolescent mental health services

Barnsley's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) works with children and young people up to the age of 18 who have mental health or emotional difficulties. The service is based at New Street Health Centre and operates from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

What is CAMHS?

CAMHS is made up of the Child and Adolescent Unit, the Young People’s Outreach Service (specialist services) and the Community CAMHS Early Intervention Team.  There is also a dedicated mental health service for children and young people with learning disabilities.

Our services include specialist nurses, consultant child and adolescent psychiatrists, speciality doctors, trainee doctors, child psychologists, a family therapist and play therapist, social workers, occupational therapist and parenting specialist practitioners. 

We work in a variety of settings, including community clinics at Hoyland, Goldthorpe, Worsbrough, Royston, Darfield and Mapplewell, with children and families who experience any of the following mental health or emotional problems:

  • depression
  • psychosis
  • self-harm
  • eating disorders
  • phobias
  • emotional and behavioural difficulties
  • sleep problems
  • attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • autistic spectrum disorder.

This list is not exhaustive and we consider each referral to determine whether it’s appropriate for us to offer an appointment to the child and family.

What we offer

  • Direct work with children and their families
  • Parenting work with the families referred to CAMHS, using Webster Stratton
  • Strengthening Families work with the families referred to CAMHS
  • Parent groups and individual work with parents, including partnership work with parenting support advisors
  • Training
  • Consultancy

How CAMHS works with children and young people

When a child or young person is referred to us, if the referral is appropriate, we’ll see them for an initial appointment to make sure we can meet their needs.  If we can, we’ll offer them further appointments.

Our practitioners work with the child or young person, either on their own or with them and their family.  The child or young person’s individual needs will determine the type of support we’ll provide.  For example, we may offer a child play therapy or individual work with one practitioner, while offering parents their own time with another practitioner. 

We also offer family therapy when the whole family attends appointments to discuss their problems.  CAMHS practitioners also offer therapeutic group work for children and young people. The number of times we see the child or young person and family depends on the nature of the problem and the work that’s required. 

We work in an open way with children, young people and families and discuss the work that’s involved if appropriate.  The team’s doctors and nurse can prescribe medication for children and young people if they feel it’s necessary.

Getting referred to CAMHS

If your child has mental health issues or emotional difficulties and is registered with a Barnsley GP, they can be referred to CAMHS.

We accept referrals for children up to the age of 18 from GPs, social care, other doctors like paediatricians, education psychologists, education welfare officers, health visitors, school nurses, other health professionals, and some voluntary agencies, such as Addaction. Talk to one of these professionals if your child needs referring to CAMHS.

When we receive your referral

If we feel your child's problem is severe, we may offer you an urgent appointment.  If we feel that your referral is appropriate, we’ll write to you asking you to ring for a 'choice' appointment, which is usually offered within six weeks.  If you don’t contact us within a specified date, then we’ll close your file at this point. We may contact the person who made the referral if we feel your child may be at risk.

Your 'choice' appointment will last for about 45 minutes to one hour, where we’ll discuss with you details of the difficulties.  After the 'choice' appointment, we’ll write to you and the person who made the referral to let you know the outcome of the discussions.

Support from other services

Children and young people who take an overdose or seriously self-harm should be admitted to Barnsley Hospital for further observation and/or treatment.  A mental health assessment will be undertaken by a CAMHS practitioner within the next working day of admission.

Other services that support children, young people and families with mental health or emotional difficulties are offered from agencies such as Early Intervention in Psychosis Team, Family Action and Barnardo's.