Merton Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
Who we are
Our job is to promote emotional wellbeing and provide treatment to children and young people with mental health problems.
The CAMHS team offers a range of assessments and treatments for children and young people presenting with enduring and moderate to severe mental health disorders which impact significantly on daily functioning.
Who is the service for
We provide mental health assessment and treatment for children, young people (aged 5-18) and their families living in the London Borough of Merton.
Conditions we treat
Where to find us
Telephone: 020 3513 5000
Our opening hours
Monday - Friday: 9.00 am - 5.00 pm
Who you might see / our staff
Merton CAMHS is made up of people with different skills. All CAMHS clinicians are trained and experienced in understanding and treating young people and their families. The list below describes what is different about each CAMHS professional you might meet.
Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists
- Consultant Psychiatrist: Dr Monica Aziz
- Two Junior Doctors working on rotation
This is a medically qualified doctor who specialises in understanding and working with children and young people who are troubled by emotional, behavioural and psychiatric problems. A large part of their work is to identify the problem, understand the causes and advise about what may help. They can also prescribe medication when appropriate.
Clinical & Counselling Psychologists
- Clinical Psychologist and Professional Lead: Dr Marie Baxter
- Clinical Psychologist and Professional Lead: Dr Fran Boudour
- Lead Clinical Psychologist: Dr Patricia Thornton
- Clinical Psychologist: Dr Hayleigh Miller
- Clinical Psychologist: Dr Katy Davies
- Counselling Psychologist: Dr Adila Mahmood
- Two psychology doctoral trainees on rotation
A Clinical and Counselling Psychologist has completed a psychology degree with additional doctoral training in the treatment of emotional and behavioural problems. Clinical and counselling psychologists are highly trained in different types of therapies.
Systemic Family Psychotherapist
- Family Therapist: Dawn Thibert
A Systemic Family Psychotherapist has completed a specialist training in understanding relationships between young people and their families and important social networks. They can meet with individuals as well as family, parents and networks to use these relationships to bring about change.
Clinical Nurse Specialists
- Clinical Learning Disability Nurse: Julie Naseem
This is a qualified nurse with specialist child mental health training. Specialist nurses also have further training in various psychological therapies.
What you can expect
A combination of evidence based, disorder specific clinical interventions are delivered in line with the young person's needs and as agreed with the family through care planning. Interventions are time-limited, targeted and goal focussed, treatment progress is reviewed regularly and we aim to facilitate smooth transition and discharge from the service. Services offered include:
- Assessment of moderate to severe mental health/conditions, formulation/diagnosis and recommendations for treatment.
- Risk assessment and risk management plans to support children and young people presenting with mental health difficulties to support safety and optimal functioning.
- Cognitive behaviour therapy
- Brief/interpersonal therapy
- Family therapy
- Pharmacotherapy with advice and monitoring
- Parenting work around the child's needs
- Consultations and network meetings with other professionals
- Referrals for children presenting for assessment of neurodevelopmental difficulties (ASD / ADHD) will be screened initially in our assessment team based in the Merton Single Point of Access team , if threshold for diagnosis is met and reflected in the screening measures you will be required to complete, onward referral to the SWLSTG Trusts dedicated service for Neurodevelopmental difficulties will follow so that a more comprehensive assessment and diagnosis of the difficulties can be undertaken.
- Referrals for children presenting with Eating disorder’s (Anorexia and Bulimia) will be screened initially in our assessment team based in the Merton Single Point of Access team, if threshold for diagnosis is met, onward referral to the SWLSTG Trusts dedicated service for Eating Disorders will follow so that a more comprehensive assessment and treatment of the difficulties can be undertaken.
Referrals to Merton CAMHS are currently accepted from professionals such as GPs, Teachers, Social Workers, School Nurses or any other health or educational professional if they feel there is a need for the CAMHS services. Young people aged 16 and 17 can also self refer into the service. This is currently a pilot offer, due to expire in December 2020, pending additional funding.
All referrals are received by an assessment team called the Single Point of Access (SPA).
Professionals can call the SPA team on 0800 292 2505 prior to making a formal referral for an opinion regarding a particular child, young person or family with whom they are working. The Single Point of Access staff can advise on:
- Whether Community CAMHS can help
- How to make a referral
- What information the service needs
- The timescale for being seen
- What support might be available pending the first appointment
The SPA team will screen all referrals and offer an appointment either face to face or via a telephone interview to determine the most suitable treatment options to address issues presented at the point of referral.
The SPA team will also send questionnaires about the young person in order for the team to gain more insight into the young person’s circumstances.
When the SPA team have carried out the initial screening and assessment the young person will be offered a relevant intervention option. This may include ‘Getting More Support’ from an identified clinician based at Birches House, offering an evidence-based treatment (either relevant individual or family therapy). In addition, the young person could be referred to another service within the borough that is best placed to meet the young person or family’s needs (including voluntary sector services).
We are closely linked with the Paediatric Liaison Team who assess young people presenting in crisis and we provide follow-up and on-going treatment as required.
Other useful information
Other useful websites:
- My CAMHS Choices contains video FAQs about CAMHS services answered by young people and CAMHS professionals. http://mycamhschoices.org/
- Young Minds offers information for children and young people, parents and professionals about CAMHS, how to look after yourself and what to do if you’re worried about a young person. Also includes a CAMHS glossary and who’s who in CAMHS. http://www.youngminds.org.uk/
- AnxietyBC Youth offers information and advice for young people on anxiety and videos of young people’s experiences with facing their fears. http://youth.anxietybc.com
- Understanding Childhood offers information for parents and professionals about children’s development, including advice on how to deal with parental separation and bereavement. http://www.understandingchildhood.net/
- My Mind - The Box contains lots of different activities and tools to use at home to set yourself challenges, help yourself wind down and figure out who to talk to. http://mymind.org.uk/thebox
- Head Meds offers honest and easy to understand information about medication used to treat different mental health conditions. http://www.headmeds.org.uk/
- The Seven Apps and Websites are new apps and websites to support young people with mental health difficulties. http://www.innovationlabs.org.uk/the-seven-apps-websites
- Time to Change offers information and advice for young people and parents about mental health and how to support someone who is struggling. http://www.time-to-change.org.uk
- B-eat offers information about eating disorders, recovery stories and how to get help. http://www.b-eat.co.uk/
- Self-harm: parents' experiences features videos of parents and other family members talking about their personal experiences of young people self-harming. http://www.healthtalk.org/peoples-experiences/mental-health/self-harm-parents-experiences/topics