Children and Young People’s Mental Health Print E-mail

Support services for children and young people are organised on a locality basis known as service districts.  Each service district has a Multi-Agency Support Team (MAST), which includes family support workers and health visitors.  Each locality will have a number of children’s centres, which provide a wide range of support services for families with children under 5 years.  For older children, many support services are provided through schools, such as learning mentors and school counsellors.

Sheffield Futures provides advice and other support for young people aged 13+.  Parent groups are run by a range of services and are an effective way to get help and support for children with behaviour problems.

The NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is part of the Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust.  It provides an assessment, treatment and consultation service for families in which there is a child with a severe or long-standing mental health problem.  The two locally based community CAMHS teams currently see children and young people up to the age of 16, referred by the family GP, a social worker or educational psychologist.

Interventions available range from consultation, family therapy and psychological therapies and staff also run groups for parents and for young people.  CAMHS also provides a more intensive treatment service for more severe and complex problems, including residential treatment for 12-16 year olds (soon to include 16-18 year olds) and a 24-hour, seven day a week psychiatric on-call service.  In addition, there is a service for looked-after children (MAPS), a forensic service and a dual diagnosis service for children who have both a mental health difficulty and learning disability.

It is often helpful for carers who are concerned about the mental health of a child to talk to people already in their networks, for example the teacher or health visitor.  Their GP may also be able to help particularly where the problem is more severe and a referral to CAMHS may be needed.

In the voluntary sector, the NSPCC runs the Young People’s Centre in Sheffield city centre (tel: 0114 228 9200), which offers counselling and a drop in.  The YMCA (tel: 0114 268 9930) supports some school counselling services and there are support groups for parents of children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADHD), run by Family Action tel: 0114 275 0981.

Ask Sid is a website and online directory developed by Sheffield Information Link, formerly known as Children’s Information Service, in partnership with city wide organisations, pulling together information for children, young people, practitioners, parents and carers.

ChildLine is a service provided by the NSPCC.  They have a free, confidential 24 hour helpline and an online information resource.  Their telephone number is 0800 1111.

Right Here is a national programme that works with local projects to change the ways that services look after the mental health of young people (aged 16 to 25).  Phone 0114 2754157 for Right Here Sheffield if you would like to find out more.

The Children and Young People's Empowerment Project (ChilYPEP) is a Sheffield-based charity that works with disadvantaged children and young people, encouraging them to voice their thoughts and engage with decision-makers.  ChilYPEP is also a partner in Right Here Sheffield.