Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

Who we are

CAMHS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. We provide support and treatment for children, young people and their families who are experiencing mental health difficulties. We support children and young people aged up to 18 years (25 years if they have been a child in care and it is agreed that we are the best service to meet their needs) who are experiencing psychological distress and need support with their mental health.

The CAMHS team includes:

  • mental health nurses
  • social workers
  • assistant practitioners
  • psychologists
  • consultant psychiatrists
  • peer support workers
  • administrators. 

Our Teams

CAMHS Core Team

Core CAMHS is a team of trained Mental Health Practitioners and Assistant Practitioners from various clinical backgrounds including:

  • Mental Health Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists 
  • Psychiatrists.

This is the team you would usually see on your first visit to CAMHS. This team works with children, young people, parents & carers to assess the mental health of children and adolescents who have been identified as potentially having moderate to severe mental health needs.

CAMHS Crisis and Enhanced Treatment Teams (CCETT)

The CAMHS Crisis and Enhanced Treatment Teams (CCETT) are based in Lincoln and Boston and cover the whole county.

The staff members in the teams are social workers and nurses by background and aim to support young people in a mental health crisis through offering assessment and intensive home treatment. This includes supporting young people experiencing thoughts of suicide and engaging in significant self harming behaviours. 

By working with young people and their families and carers, we aim to avoid hospital admission wherever possible by providing intensive support in the home environment.  We know from extensive research this provides better outcomes for young people.

Our working hours are:

8.45am to 7pm every day 

We run an out of hours triage service 7pm to 8.45am to respond to A&E, the police or ambulance services.  This is to provide support and advice around mental health presentations to these services. We aim to see all young people appropriate for the service within 72 hours. 

We are able to offer intensive, evidence based, short term support (up to eight weeks) to manage risk and prevent deterioration via group work and 1:1 therapy (CBT, DBT, EMDR and Animal Assisted).

Young people can access our service via GPs and social workers directly or can make a CAMHS self-referral 9.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday.

If a young person does not meet the criteria for our team, we will signpost to a more appropriate service (within LPFT or otherwise).

CAMHS Eating Disorder Team

This team works with children and young people presenting with an eating disorder such as Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia.

For more information, you can Download CAMHS Eating Disorder Service leaflet

CAMHS Learning Disability Service

You can watch a video about our CAMHS Learning Disability Service on YouTube.

The CAMHS Learning Disability (LD) team is a community based specialist service offering support to children and young people, aged between 0 to 18 years, who are experiencing significant mental health problems and who are diagnosed with moderate to severe learning disability.

Our friendly team consists of:

  • Team Coordinator
  • Consultant Psychiatrist
  • Medical Secretary
  • Clinical Lead/Independent prescriber/ LD Nurse
  • Highly Specialised Clinical Psychologist
  • LD Practitioners/ Nurses
  • Assistant Practitioners

We also offer placements to other professionals, e.g. Trainee Nurse Associates and Trainee Clinical Psychologists.

We are non-judgemental and very approachable; we keep in touch using various methods, including:

  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Virtual platforms e.g., Microsoft (MS) Teams
  • Face-to-face

Our aim is to offer the best service we can to ensure the best outcome for the children and young people we support.

"I was amazed how fast the team got in touch with me and dealt with the situation." - Parent

The referral 'journey'


Once we receive the referral, one of our qualified clinicians will take a look and decide if it meets our criteria; if not, we might ask the referrer for further information or signpost to other services.

Appointment offer

An Initial Assessment appointment will be offered as appropriate; either ‘face-to-face’ or ‘virtually’ (MS Teams).


One of the team will then give the parent/ carer a call to go through some general information that we require prior to the assessment. We will ensure that they are happy with how the assessment will be completed.

Initial Assessment

We will then complete the assessment with the parent/ carer; at this stage the child/ young person does not have to be present. We will discuss the child/ young persons history, how they are presenting now and expectations from the referral.

If appropriate, we will then complete observations of the child/ young person in various settings e.g., home, school, respite, community.

We will then discuss the referral as a whole team and decide what interventions we might be able to offer; or we will signpost to other services.

How we can help

The team will work with you, your parents or carers, schools, health professionals and social care to offer individual tailored advice and strategies to support you. This might include:

- Conducting a comprehensive holistic assessment to include psychological, emotional and behavioural health as well as looking at physical issues which could be affecting mental health wellbeing (e.g. sleep)  

  - Conducting a psychiatric assessment and medication consultation or review (if required)

  - Offering behaviour management advice and interventions

  - 1 to1 time with the young person and their family

  - Offering telephone consultations and advice

  - Teaching and consultation to agencies (such as schools, respite services, children’s homes)

  - Offering a parent support programme.

  - Signposting to other appropriate agencies

This is not an exhaustive list and most importantly, following any assessments parents/carers and the child/young person, where possible, will be invited to be involved in deciding the best course of action. 

Information regarding mental capacity and Gillick competency can be found on our 'Additional information for parents and carers' web page.

Young people supported by the CAMHS LD Team.

CAMHS Harmful Behaviour Service

The CAMHS Harmful Behaviour Service works with children and young people (up to the age of 18 years old) displaying sexual behaviour that is causing concern, and which falls outside behaviour considered developmentally appropriate for a child or young person of that age.  The Brook Traffic Light Tool is a good starting point for considering whether a sexual behaviour being displayed is of concern

The Harmful Behaviour Service provides professional advice, assessments using the Assess Intervene and Move on (AIM) model with trained assessors, and evidence based interventions.  

The CAMHS Harmful Behaviour Service works with:

  • children
  • young people
  • families and carers
  • professionals

to offer a coordinated approach to reduce levels of risk and vulnerability to self and others and is informed by Safeguarding Children guidance and the Signs of Safety model used within Lincolnshire Children’s Services. 

For further information around sexual behaviour concerns in children and young people, please visit the following sites


What CAMHS help with

CAMHS offers a wide range of evidence based treatments for a variety of conditions and presentations. These pathways are informed by NICE guidelines, ensuring we are providing the safest, most effective treatment possible. Treatment Pathways include:

  • Depression
  • General Anxiety
  • Specific Anxiety (such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Social Anxiety)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Self-harm
  • Attachment Disorder
  • Harmful sexualised behaviour

Visit our jargon buster page to learn more about these different therapies and other regularly used terms in our services

"When we needed extra support, we received it straight away…. all the professionals involved have been very caring, helpful, easy to talk to and extremely supportive."