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community staff

Welcome to the Community CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) Teams.

Our two teams see young people up to the age of 18 who have difficulties that are seriously impacting on their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

  • The Centenary Community CAMHS Team works with children, young people and families from the north and west of Sheffield. We are based at Centenary House, off Infirmary Road. We see around 1200 children a year at outpatient appointments held at Centenary House.
  • The Beighton Community CAMHS Team works with children, young people and families from the south and east of Sheffield. We are based at the Becton Centre for Children and Young People. We see around 1000 children a year in outpatient appointments at the Becton Centre.

SCFT/Rethink have published a freephone telephone number (0808 8010612). The helpline is running as a partnership between SCFT and Rethink Mental Illness. The mission of the Sheffield 24/7 under 18s helpline is to provide emotional support, advice and signposting for the children and young people of Sheffield.

This helpline is funded to support children and young people living in Sheffield, and/or registered with GPs in this area. It covers all ages up to 18.

Inclusion/Exclusion Criteria

Appropriate for support:

  • Children and young people up to 18
  • Key issue is general emotional wellbeing
  • Willingness to talk over the phone
  • Keen to receive support and information on various services in the city that could support their needs

The phoneline is NOT available for young people needing the following:

  • To receive help in a crisis or emergency situation
  • Medical advice on mental health support
  • Medical prescriptions
  • To speak with their designated worker at CAMHS
  • To make a complaint about mental health services

Problems and treatments

Children can experience many different problems such as unhappiness, loneliness, fears, phobias, illness with no physical cause, nightmares, poor concentration, and angry and difficult behaviour. Read more about some of the problems that families come to talk to us about and how we treat them:

Sometimes children and young people have difficulty controlling their anger, which leads to them getting into trouble, having difficulty with relationships, or breaking things and hurting people. CAMHS can help you to understand the causes of your anger and help you to gain control of it.
Anxiety is the uncomfortable feeling of being worried or frightened. Lots of things can cause anxiety, like having problems at school, being stressed, or having difficulties getting on with friends or family.

Everybody feels anxiety from time to time, but it can become a real problem if you begin to have problems sleeping, you worry a lot, you have difficulty concentrating, or you start avoiding things that you used to enjoy. CAMHS can help you to understand how anxiety works and help you find ways of managing it.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that causes people to have lots of energy and to have difficulty concentrating. It can also cause them to act impulsively – to do or say things without thinking. ADHD can make people very restless and fidgety. It can also cause them to get into trouble if they are very impulsive.

Children and young people with ADHD often lose concentration and find it difficult to focus on things, which often interferes with their learning at school. CAMHS can help to identify ADHD in children and young people, and can offer a range of treatments and support for them and their families.

Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a range of life-long conditions that affect people’s abilities to communicate with and understand others; to make friends and socialise; and to be imaginative and flexible in their thinking. CAMHS can help to identify these conditions, and to help children and young people and their families find ways of reducing the impact of the condition on their lives.
Deliberate self-harm
This can include a person:

  • cutting, burning, picking or scratching
  • head banging, hitting or pulling out hair
  • taking personal risks or neglecting themselves
  • trying to end their life

Sometimes children or young people use self-harm as a way of coping with difficult thoughts or feelings. Sometimes they believe that this gives them some control over what happens in their lives. These activities can sometimes cause serious injury or death, and never really affect the underlying causes, so aren’t very effective at changing things for the better. CAMHS can help children and young people to identify the areas in their lives that are causing the difficulty, and to find effective ways of changing things.

Strong feelings of sadness can be triggered by many different things, such as difficulties at school or with friends, parents splitting up, or the illness or death of someone close to you. Sometimes this can carry on for a long time, and has effects such as:

  • changes in appetite
  • changes in sleeping habits
  • loss of energy
  • not wanting to spend time with people
  • not doing things that you enjoy
  • feeling useless and worthless
  • crying a lot
  • using drugs or alcohol to ‘blunt’ the sadness

CAMHS can help children and young people to find ways of expressing their feelings safely, and can use a variety of methods for helping to improve the feelings of sadness. We can also help to support parents whose children are suffering from depression.

Eating disorders
Sometimes young people feel the need to control their eating and the shape of their bodies to the extent that they put their health – and sometimes their lives – at risk. This is often a way of coping with difficult feelings such as anger, grief, sadness or fear. CAMHS can help by supporting the young person in identifying those feelings and finding other ways of dealing with them. We can also help parents to support their children in eating healthily and managing their problems.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Sometimes children and young people are troubled by obsessions: thoughts that get into their minds, keep repeating and won’t go away. This can often occur with compulsions, which are things that people feel they have to do, even if they don’t want to or they know that these things are irrational. Examples of this are checking things several times, washing many more times than is necessary, or counting things over and over again. There is usually a lot of anxiety involved in this, and CAMHS can provide help in reducing the anxiety and finding effective ways of managing it.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Sometimes children and young people have things happen to them – or witness things happening to someone else – that are so frightening or distressing that they continue to be distressed for a long time afterwards. They may have nightmares; sudden bouts of anger, sadness, fear or panic; ‘flashbacks’; or intrusive memories.

Parents, teachers or other people in the young person’s life may find it difficult to understand what the young person is experiencing and how they are behaving in response to these things.

CAMHS can help young people understand what is happening for them, and help those around them to support the young person. Our clinicians can offer a variety of treatments for PTSD.

Psychosis is a term used to describe a number of conditions that cause some young people to have difficulty in believing what is real and what isn’t. Some examples of this might be:

  • hearing or seeing things that aren’t there
  • feelings of being controlled by someone or something else
  • having strong ideas that something is real or true that isn’t
  • feeling that other people want to do you harm, when they don’t
  • having extreme, uncontrollable mood swings

Experiencing psychosis can be very frightening, and may interfere in almost all aspects of a young person’s life. Psychosis can be treated with medicines, and CAMHS can help find the right treatment for young people who experience it. We can also support parents who have a child suffering from psychosis.


Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT works on the idea that the way we think influences our feelings, which in turn affect the things that we do. Using CBT can help a child or young person who is feeling anxious, sad or angry.
Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)
EMDR is a psychological technique that can help young people who are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Group therapy
Talking together in groups can help young people to understand their feelings. A therapeutic group can be a supportive environment where they can explore difficult issues and work out solutions to them.
Sometimes medicines can help children and young people to recover from mental health problems. They are prescribed by specially trained doctors and nurse prescribers after careful assessment and with regular monitoring.
Parent training
Often the people in the best position to help children and young people with mental health problems are their parents. This may require parents to learn some particular skills, or particular ways of looking at the problem. Giving parents support and guidance in helping their children is an important part of CAMHS work.
Psychodynamic psychotherapy
A psychotherapist will help a child or young person to understand and manage difficult feelings by meeting regularly with them and developing a safe, stable relationship in which they can explore those feelings.
Systemic family therapy
Family therapy is described as ‘systemic’ because it looks at the way that the problems experienced by any one member of a family affect the other members too. A systemic family therapist will help the family to look at the way that its members interact with each other, and at the ideas and beliefs that guide those interactions.
Art therapy
Art therapy uses creative activities and art materials to help children and young people to explore their feelings, the relationships in their lives and ways of expressing their thoughts and feelings.
Attachment-based therapy
Sometimes the bond between a very young child and their primary carer can be disrupted or damaged and this can cause problems with behaviour and relationships as the child gets older. Attachment-based therapies aim to help strengthen the bond between child and parent so that these problems can be overcome.
Specialist assessment
Some problems need to be looked at by a range of different healthcare professionals to find out what is at the root of the problem. These assessments are offered in Specialist Assessment Clinics that involve several members of the team.

CAMHS referrals

Referrals are accepted from GPs, Social Workers, Educational Psychologists, Paediatricians and the Clinical Psychology Department at The Childrens Hospital, Sheffield.

Find out more about referring to CAMHS.

Epic Friends

The Sheffield CAMHS team developed the Epic Friends website to help young people who think their friends may have mental health problems.

The site offers advice on a range of issues including bullying, depression, anxiety, family problems, self-harm and eating disorders. It also offers guidance on when to seek help and where to go for further support.

Epic Friends was funded by The Children’s Hospital Charity.

Sheffield Mental Health Guide

Sheffield Mental Health Guide is the first port of call for information about mental health and where to get support in Sheffield. It includes a service directory, A-Z of mental health, details of forthcoming events and tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

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