Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Commons Select Committee: Children's and adolescent mental health and CAMHS

This week, the House of Commons Select Committee on Health published details of their inquiry into children's and adolescent mental health and CAMHS. The details can be found here.

The Committee says:
In the light of concerns that have been expressed by the Chief Medical Officer and others about both the extent to which children and adolescents are affected by mental health problems and difficulties with gaining access to appropriate treatment, the Health Committee has decided to undertake an inquiry into children’s and adolescent mental health and Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
We would like to prepare a report to submit to the Committee. We know many children and young people with SEN/disabilities who have had contact with CAMHS services around the country. or, who have tried to gain access to these services. We would like our report to reflect these experiences: the good and the bad.

The Committee's terms of reference are broad and include:
  • The current state of CAMHS, including service provision across all four tiers; access and availability; funding and commissioning; and quality. 
  • Trends in children’s and adolescent mental health, including the impact of bullying and of digital culture
  • Data and information on children’s and adolescent mental health and CAMHS
  • Preventative action and public mental health, including multiagency working
  • Concerns relating to specific areas of CAMHS provision, including perinatal and infant mental health; urgent and out-of-hours care; the use of S136 detention for under 18s; suicide prevention strategies; and the transition to adult mental health services

Can you help?

We would very much like to hear stories and experiences regarding access to CAMHS services and the quality of provision. Gaining access to people who know what they are doing and have the expertise to work with children with SEN and disabilities seems essential to us.

Below are some of the areas we would like to hear about:

(i) what was the nature of your experience e.g. why your child see CAMHS, how easy it was to access the service, how long did you access it for, who did your child see?

(ii) what was the quality of your experience e.g. what were the problems you identified during the process, and what were the good things?

(iii) based on your experiences, do you think there are any 'lessons' which should be learnt?

We promise to keep your details confidential and your stories will be reported anonymously (with no identifying details) and we will send you a copy of the draft report and recommendations for you to share your views on before we submit it. We don't claim to speak for parents, children or young people. We aim to provide an avenue for sharing experiences and campaigning. Our recommendations are based on the evidence we gather but they are worthless unless you feel they would help!

If you think you may be able to help, please contact us at

The deadline for submissions to the Committee is 19th March so we would ideally like all evidence with us by 12th March.

Thanks to all who contribute!

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