On this page
- Who we are
- What we do
- How to access CAMHS services
- Getting on Track in Time - Got It!
- Whole Family Teams
- Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services
- Mums and Kids Matter
- Youth Community Living Support Services (YCLSS)
- MH-Children and Young People
Our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service(CAMHS) provide a range of services in the local community to children, adolescents and their families with a range of difficulties that are seriously impacting on their mental health and emotional wellbeing.
The majority of services are delivered by community based teams, providing treatment and care close to people’s homes. Some services are delivered from hospital in inpatient settings.
Who we are
We have a range of professionals with the skills needed to assess, treat and provide ongoing evaluation of children, young people and their families. The professionals that are employed in CAMHS include child psychiatrists, clinical and counselling psychologists, specialised social workers, psychotherapists, family therapists and specialist nurses. Our teams work together and consult with each other on a regular basis.
What we do
We work closely with infants, children, young people and their families to provide support and specialist treatment when they are finding it hard to cope with family life, school or the wider world. We offer assessment, education and treatment services for a range of mental difficulties such as:
- anxiety disorders
- attachment disorders
- autism spectrum disorders - specifically assist with assessment and/or mental health related symptoms
- eating disorders
- major depression and mood disorders
- mental health concerns in pregnancy and following birth psychosis
- severe emotional trauma and adjustment problems
- suicide risk and self-harm.
How to access CAMHS services
Referrals can be made by a child or young person, their parents or caregivers, a GP, a health professional or the child’s or young person’s school. Call the NSW Mental Health Line for advice, assessment and referral on freecall 1800 011 511. The Mental Health Line is a 24-hour telephone service operating seven days a week across NSW and determines the appropriate service for referral. Your Mental Health helpline clinician will assess your situation and decide the best course of action to assist you.
CAMHS are delivered across the whole of NSW Health. Please get in touch with your local service for more information.
If you or someone you know needs crisis support, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Specialist programs for children, adolescents, young people and families.
Schools provide a venue where Health and Education working together can intervene early, or possibly prevent the some mental health issues developing. The NSW School-Link Initiative supports NSW Health and the Department of Education in working together to improve the mental health, wellbeing and resilience of children and young people in educational settings in NSW, including primary, high schools and TAFE settings. School-Link provides specialist mental health services through consultation liaison, clinical care planning and delivery of specialist mental health individual and group interventions in schools and TAFEs.
For more information, please refer NSW School-link Strategy and Action Plan.
Getting on Track in Time - Got It!
Getting on Track in Time – Got It! is an early intervention mental health program for children in Kindergarten to Year 2 and their parents and carers.
The program helps parents and schools to identify children’s social and emotional difficulties and supports them to respond to difficult behaviours. Got It! is a school-based program led and delivered by specialist NSW Child and Adolescent Mental Health teams in partnership with school staff and the Department of Education.
Got It! teams work collaboratively with education staff, parents/carers and children to provide an evidence-informed approach to address these mental health problems early and get on track in time.
Aboriginal Got It!
The NSW Government is trialling the innovative Aboriginal Got It! program in South Western Sydney Local Health District to improve the mental health of Aboriginal children and set them up for a healthy future. The program is a partnership between NSW Health, Department of Education and local Aboriginal communities.
Research has consistently shown Aboriginal children are more than twice as likely to develop clinically significant behavioural problems than non-Aboriginal children.
The Aboriginal Got It! program will connect with children in their formative years (4-8 years of age) to prevent the development of severe behavioural problems such as conduct disorder. The program also aims to strengthen cultural practices in parenting.
Aboriginal mental health workers will work with parents, carers, children and the school system to deliver the social and emotional learning program. Cultural awareness training will also be given to both school and health staff.
As a result the program aims to reduce instances of early school leaving, anti-social behaviour, incarceration and substance abuse.
Commencing in March 2018, the four year trial will be evaluated with the results used to shape possible roll out of the program across the state.
Whole Family Teams
Families with complex needs often risk falling through service gaps. These vulnerable families also frequently miss out on services due to access and support issues. The unique Whole Family Team integrated outreach partnership model operates to prevent vulnerable families from falling through service gaps. Whole Family Teams include mental health and drug and alcohol clinicians working together in multidisciplinary teams to provide comprehensive mental health, drug and alcohol and family assessment and evidence informed individual and family in-home interventions for approximately six months. The model of care was informed by the best available evidence regarding interventions for families with complex mental health and drug and alcohol needs and the impact of these problems on the safety of their children.
Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services
Maintaining good mental health before, during and following pregnancy is vital for the health and wellbeing of mothers, their children and families. The perinatal period includes the pregnancy and the early parenting period. Specialist Perinatal and Infant Mental Health Services (PIMHS) are for pregnant women and mothers with severe and complex mental illness of infants up to two years of age. These specialist mental health services provide coordinated care for the mother’s mental health needs, parenting capacity and parent-infant relationship. PIMHS provide hospital in-reach as well as in-home support to women, their partners and families, reducing separation of mothers from their families wherever possible. The service includes a Statewide Outreach Perinatal Service for mental health (SwOPS-mh) to ensure that families living in rural and remote districts have access to specialist expertise from a metropolitan hub.
Mums and Kids Matter
Mothers with a mental illness are at risk of parenting difficulties, social isolation, poverty and homelessness, which in turn increases their children’s risk of developing health and social problems. Mums and Kids Matter delivers a statewide service to mothers experiencing severe and complex mental illness who are current clients of public mental health services and would benefit from the services provided by the program in order to remain able to care for their young child/children (0-5 years) in the community. Mums and Kids Matter provides community-based specialist short-term non-acute residential mental health and tertiary parenting care; in–home or residential care accommodation support packages; and brokerage to access tertiary level support in specialist facilities. Wesley Mission delivers the Mums and Kids Matter program in partnership with the NSW Ministry of Health. For more information please see Mums and Kids Matter Evaluation Report.
Youth Community Living Support Services (YCLSS)
The Youth Community Living Support Service (YCLSS) is a community mental health service for young people aged 16 to 24. The program provides case management and psychosocial support, working to promote recovery and positive change. YCLSS is an outreach service, which works with people in their own home or in the community. Founded on early intervention principles, YCLSS minimises the risk of you developing chronic disability requiring frequent hospital admissions, long inpatient stays and long-term care, by helping young people remain connected to their community and engaged in education and employment. The program aims to assist family and carers in building and maintaining a positive relationship with young people. Wellways and Flourish Australia deliver the program in partnership with the NSW Ministry of Health.
MH-Children and Young People
MH-CYP is a unit of Mental Health Branch, NSW Ministry of Health that provides leadership and support for perinatal, infant, child and youth mental health program and services in NSW. MH-CYP works collaboratively with a wide range of stakeholders to support the best use of available evidence, the dissemination of relevant information and the development of meaningful partnerships for service and program development, innovation and quality and safety improvement.