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Agenda item

Development / Discussion time


Trish Lambert, Senior Practitioner, Children and Young People’s Services and a Care Leaver were welcomed to the meeting to participate in the discussion on mental health issues. 


At the January Panel meeting, Care Leavers spoke of their experiences of the care system and raised some issues regarding mental health issues. The issues included a lack of provision during the transition from CAMHS to adult mental health services which led some young people to feel vulnerable when they were discharged at the age of 18.  Concerns were also raised with regard to cases being closed when only one appointment had been missed.  One young person who had struggled with mental health issues from the age of 11, reported having to rely on Children and Young People’s Service staff for support.


In relation to cases being closed due to missed appointments, the Manager of CAMHS stressed the importance of good engagement with social workers, and, she clarified that two telephone calls should be made and then a follow-up letter sent adding that   cases should not be closed without further investigation.  The Manager of CAMHS explained the importance of attending regular appointments as this is part of the therapeutic alliance and there is valid therapeutic need for young people to attend appointments regularly.


Cllr McKeon asked how the CAMHS service links with GPs.  The Manager of CAMHS replied that quarterly training events take place with GPs and referrals can be made directly by GP surgeries.


R Edwards referred to some instances when no CAMHS staff member has attended Team Around the Child (TAC) meetings.  The Manager of CAMHS said that this may be a capacity issue, however, if a staff member cannot attend, a report should be provided.  The Manager of CAMHS agreed to look into this matter. 


Cllr McKeon then asked how informed young people are as to what services CAMHS has to offer.  The Manager of CAMHS replied that, at the second appointment, the young person is informed of the various pathways and options regarding interventions. 


In response to a question from Cllr Jewell, the Manager of CAMHS described a typical crisis scenario for CAMHS as being a phone call from a parent saying their child has a knife and is self-harming.


To respond to this, CAMHS would not send staff into this situation, but they would work with emergency services on behalf of the family to support the young person/situation.  However, the team also deals with other, less critical issues, such as visiting parents at home to offer support to young people with behavioural problems, although this would not be classed as a crisis


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714