Islington Community CAMHS has a long history of working with schools, supporting staff to improve the emotional health of their students.
CAMHS clinicians are allocated to each of the schools in the borough. Each school and clinician is supported by a member of the Schools’ Lead Team.
The clinician in school could be a Clinical Psychologist, a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist or a Family Therapist by training.
The work that they do in the school will depend on the needs of the school. Some schools may have more than one clinician with different training working with them.
What sort of work do we offer in schools?
How the CAMHS time in each school is used is very varied and is developed through discussion with senior staff in each school. It can include:
- Seeing young people, parents/carers in school individually or together to help with children’s social, emotional and behavioural difficulties, especially where the difficulties are related to school
- Observing children in the school setting
- Offering groups for children and/or parents
- Screening for developmental disorders such as ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorder
- Being part of the school’s Pastoral Care Team and attending meetings where children, young people and families with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties are discussed
- Talking to school staff and parents and carers about possible referrals to CAMHS and what to expect
- Helping communication between school and home
- Offering training to school staff
- Organising mental health screenings of whole year groups to help schools understand what the needs in the school might be
- Working closely with other professionals who are working with children and young people in school (e.g. Educational Psychologists / Social Workers / Speech and Language Therapists /Families First / Mentoring services such as Chance UK and Friendship Works)
There is a CAMHS clinician in almost every school in Islington. They are there to support pupils, teachers and parents. Your school’s clinician may be a psychologist, a psychotherapist or a family therapist. They can all help with mental health problems like anxiety and depression; family difficulties; behavioural problems; learning problems; or difficulties getting along with other people.
If you need help, speak to your teacher or tutor, school SENCO, learning mentor or a member of pastoral staff. They can refer you to your school’s CAMHS clinician, or get advice on the best service to help you.
If you are referred to your school clinician, they will invite you to meet with them, usually in a quiet room during school hours. Read more about meeting with a professional from CAMHS.
Like all CAMHS appointments, seeing your school clinician is confidential. The person responsible for referrals in school will usually know that you are being seen. But we don’t discuss your assessment or treatment with your teachers unless you and your parent/carer(s) agree. Like any CAMHS meeting, if your school clinician has a serious concern about your safety they might share information with your parent/carer(s). Some young people do find it helpful when staff at the school know, that they are having difficulties. School clinicians can talk this through with you.