Information for parents and carers
Being a parent or carer can be very stressful, especially when the child or young person you’re responsible for has emotional and/or behavioural difficulties. Family issues, such as a parent’s ill health, parental arguments, divorce, bereavement or other traumatic events, can impact on children, and vice versa. It’s more common than you might think: one in five young people have difficulties like this from time to time. It can often feel daunting talking to someone about an emotional well-being issue, but research shows that talking therapies are successful in treating problems of this kind. The government's health body that identifies good practice, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), recommends these treatments for a range of emotional problems, such as depression, anxiety, phobias, obsessions, eating disorders and compulsions. We offer many different types of treatment options through the NHS and we’ll work closely with you to decide what you and your family would most benefit from.
We will typically have an initial assessment meeting with you and the child or young person to get to know the situation better. We’ll listen to what the child or young person says – or doesn’t say – about the problems they are facing, and we might discuss things further with you too. We might involve school or social services – and if so we’ll discuss this with you. We will work with you and the child or young person and try and decide together what sort of treatment is going to be best. All our therapists are trained in talking therapies. You and the child or young person might need to see us just once or twice, or it might take longer. We look at your issues individually and, working with a professional team that covers the full range of Open Minded services (previously Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)), we put together the right programme of therapy to suit what you need. The approach we take follows government guidelines – specifically, the National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Families. We always aim to provide a flexible and thoughtful approach to each individual and family we work with.
The therapeutic services we offer cover a wide range of difficulties: emotional problems, anxiety, depression, self-harm, emerging psychosis and personality disorders. We can also help children and young people to deal with the impact of traumatic experiences, such as family violence, parental separation or the death of a family member. We are experienced in working with children and young people from all backgrounds, including those living in foster care, adoptive homes or in kinship care. We also work with families with children who have autism and/or developmental difficulties.
If you feel that you need to see someone, the best way is to speak to your doctor (GP) about your situation. You are also welcome to contact us directly. If your GP is not in Camden, your local authority might need to agree for you to come here. Other organisations that can refer you to us include schools, Social Services, voluntary organisations and other NHS bodies, so you may want to talk to them about coming here. We want to make sure that you are seen by the best people possible for your situation.
Now you have an appointment, what can you and your child expect when you arrive to see your therapist?
Where else can you go for help?
We have one of the largest units in the UK specialising in mental health for children and young people.