CYP - Mental Health Services - Islington CAMHS - Jargon Buster - Introduction
Are you confused by all the names associated with CAMHS?
Read our Jargon Buster to help you understand!


An adult who can speak and act on your behalf.

Art therapist

A professional who offers sessions with talking and art materials to help you express and explore your feelings. Art therapy may help you find out more about yourself, which can lead to positive changes.


An assessment is the initial meeting with CAMHS is also known as a “Choice Appointment” where the team listen to you and make joint decisions with you to decide the best way to help you. We may also do assessments with you if we need to explore an area with you further.


Common Assessment Framework


Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services


CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. CBT is a talking therapy that can help you manage your difficulties by changing the way you think and behave. Talking and changing your behaviour can change how you think (cognitive) and what you do (behaviour).

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist

A Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist is a doctor who is specially trained to work with children and young people with mental health problems. They identify the problem and may prescribe medicines for you if necessary.

Children's Centres

A local centre that provides regular family activities, outreach and family support services and a nursery for children who are under five. Other local professionals work with these centres such as midwifery, health visiting, speech and language therapist and our CAMHS service.


The building where CAMHS initial appointment and sessions would usually take place. Our main base is at the Northern Health Centre; however we also work in schools and children’s centres throughout Islington.

Clinical Psychologist

Clinical psychologists aim to help children and young people understand why they feel the way they do and what lies behind their responses to other people and to things that happen to them. They use theory and research from psychology to make positive changes to families’ lives and relationships and offer a variety of treatments such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, family work, parenting work and relationship focussed interventions. They are trained to work with both adults and children and they usually specialise so you will often find them working in services such as CAMHS.


This means not telling other people about what you tell them in private. There are rules about sharing information about you; people are only told what they need to know in order to help you. Sometimes when staffs are worried about your safety, they may have to tell certain people certain things about you; this is part of their job to keep you safe.


This stands for Choice and Partnership Approach. This approach is all about giving young people and families as much choice as possible, to engage them in our service and by working together on issues that matter to them. The key philosophy of CAPA is to have the young people and family’s viewpoint and wishes at the centre of what we do.


CYP IAPT stands for Children and Young Peoples Improving Access to Psychological Therapies.


Department for Children, Schools and Families (Central Government).


Department of Health


If a professional belongs to a discipline, this usually relates to the way they are trained. In CAMHS we have many different disciplines including clinical psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists and family therapists.


DSM stands for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and this is a large manual with lots of information about different disorders which can help professionals make diagnoses.

Every child matters

Government programme for a national framework to support the “joining up” of children’s services – education, culture, health, social care, and justice.

Families First

Families First are a charity who we work in partnership with. Families First supports families with school-aged children up to 19 years old.

Family Therapist

A family therapist is a professional who works with the whole family. A family therapist helps families to think about changes they can make so everyone gets on better.


Intervention is another word for treatment. It means that you and the staff at CAMHS are working together to help you manage your difficulties. Intervening is like standing in the way of something and stopping it going any further. We call this ‘partnership’.


London Borough of Islington


Medicine (usually tablets) given to you by a doctor (usually a psychiatrist at first, may be your family doctor later) to help you to feel better or more in control of your feelings. There should be careful discussion with you and your parents/carers before medication is prescribed (given) and you should ask if you do not understand the pros and cons of taking the medication.


National Youth Advocacy Service.

Play Therapy

Play therapy can help children understand muddled feelings and upsetting events that they haven’t had the chance to sort out properly. Rather than having to explain what is troubling them, children use play to communicate.


This stands for Pupil Referral Unit. This is where pupils may go, to help them, if they struggle for a reason, in mainstream schools.
Please click here to find out more about our PRU team.


Psychotherapists are professionals who offer treatments based on unravelling background causes of difficulties and making links from this to your current feelings.


This describes the process of someone you know contacting CAMHS as they are worried about you, and setting up an appointment with you to see us.


This stands for Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale, which is a questionnaire to find out how things are going from a child, young persons and also a parent point of view. A staff member may do a questionnaire with you when you first come to help us make joint decisions with you.


SDQ which stands for Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire also helps us find out how things are going from parents, child and young persons and a teachers point of view. This may be done with you when you first come to CAMHS and helps us gather information to guide making joint decisions with you.

Session By Session Monitoring

This means that we aim to ensure that we give you an opportunity for you to share your views and give us feedback on the service you are receiving from us. This will usually be done at the end of a session.


SENCO stands for Special Educational Need Co-ordinator who will work in a school to coordinate the needs and help children and young people with special educational needs.


Sometimes we may suggest different services who can give you the types of help that suits you best. This may be suggested alongside working with us or in place of us.

Social Worker

A social worker is someone who is interested in how your family works and how this affects you growing up. They work with you and your family to help keep safe and to keep your family together.


Stigma is discrimination and the negative attitudes people may have towards those with mental health difficulties. Time to Change and Rethink are national campaigns which aim to reduce the stigma and to get people talking more about mental health.


Target Youth Service

User Participation

This means that we are dedicated to involving you in CAMHS, in as many ways possible, as we believe that you are expert in shaping our service. Please see the involving you section for more information.  Please click here to go our 'Get involved with CAMHS' page for more information.

Young Carers

Young Carers are children and Young People who live with a family member who needs help from them. This might be because they suffer physical or mental health problems.There is a local organisation in Islington to support these children and young people – click here to find out more. If the child or young person becomes too stressed, anxious or depressed by the demands made on them CAMHS is the right service to ask for help from.


Youth Offending Service

Last updated12 Sep 2022
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