Have any questions you’d like to ask about this campaign? Please look below to see if it’s in the FAQ’s or email info@supportforus.co.uk

What is your CAMHS campaign?

Support For Us is looking to make CAMHS more accessible and confidential for young people. Whilst these services are for young people, they aren’t necessarily designed with young people in mind. Whilst there are some aspects of the services that can’t be changed, there are many things that can be changed to help improve young people’s experiences. Support For Us is campaigning to make that happen.

For more information on the campaign aims for CAMHS and other mental health services for young people please click here

Where can I find out more about the study you conducted?

The study was conducted with 1,438 sharing their views and/or experiences of CAMHS. A brief outline of the results can be found here.

Due to time restraints, it has not been possible to finish collating and writing up the results from the study conducted. If you would like to be emailed once the results are published, please fill out this quick form

What started this campaign?

Having her own experience of mental illness from the age of 16, Sam Barakat experienced first hand what it can be like for a young person. For many reasons, mental health was something she felt she couldn’t open up about to those around her. Because of this, she did not want anyone to know she was seeking help for her mental health but there was no where she could confidentially go. Whilst she did manage to get online counselling, and some support from the NHS once she reached 18, this wasn’t the right support for her. This led her, over time, to be motivated to change this for other young people.

Sam’s full story, including her experience with CAMHS, can be found here

Aside from issues within CAMHS, what is this campaign trying to achieve?

This campaign is looking to make services, provided by the NHS but also within communities, to be more accessible and confidential for young people. Support For Us is also looking to raise awareness of mental health, mental illness and what support is available through schools.

Information on the campaign itself can be found here

I provide mental health services for young people, how can you help us improve our services?

Support For Us is happy to help with services, both CAMHS and charities/organisations, to look at what is offered and how the services are accessed. The main focus of this campaign is looking at the accessibility and confidentiality of the service, as well as what information is available to young people who are not aware of the services. Things that will be considered include:

  • Information that’s available for young people about the services offered
  • The referral process for the service
  •  Any improvements that can be made to the young persons’ experience once they are in the service
  • General information (online and offline) about mental health and mental illness that is available for young people and parents

If you work within CAMHS and would like more information on how Support For Us can help you, please fill out this form or email info@supportforus.co.uk

At present, there is no charge for this, although travel expenses would be appreciated.

I work within a school, how can you support us?

Support For Us can work with schools to look at what services and information are available within the school and ways in which the school an improve. These include:

  • If a young person is in distress, what support is available within the school?
  • How well known are these support methods amongst students?
  • Any ways in which these services can be improved
  • Looking at policies that are in place for young people to access CAMHS during school time in the situation where they don’t wish for their parents to be informed

If you are interested and would like more information, please fill out this form or email info@supportforus.co.uk

Sam Barakat also delivers talks and trainings within schools about mental health and mental illness. More information about mental health training can be found on her website

Parents have the best interest of their child at heart. Why should young people be allowed to receive support without their parents knowing?

Whilst parents may have the best interests at heart, if confidentiality is broken, it can lead to young people not opening up to services. Young people may not want their parents to know that they’re accessing services or be informed about things that they’re discussing in appointments for a variety of reasons. These include not wanting to be a burden, the stigma surrounding mental illness, a strained relationship or if their home life is one that’s causing them difficulties.

Whether or not parents are informed should be taken on a case by case basis. If the young person is fine with them knowing then they should be informed. If the young person doesn’t wish for them to be informed, provided no risk is deemed, their confidentiality should be respected. Breaking confidentiality only makes the young person not trust the services, which in turn can make them not open up about their feelings. Similarly in some situations, breaking confidentiality can cause more risk to that young person.

What barriers are currently stopping young people going confidentially?

There are currently many barriers stopping young people accessing services confidentially. These include services:

  • Clashing with school, with no way to leave school without parental consent
  • Requiring parental consent to be allowed to access the service
  • The administrative process
  • Confidentiality being broken, despite no risk being deemed

How can I get involved with this campaign?

Thank you for wanting to get involved in this campaign.

Signing and sharing the Change petition and sharing this website will help get the word out about this campaign.

If you are interested in sharing your experiences with CAMHS, please go to: https://supportforus.co.uk/stories

There are opportunities to get involved with the campaign itself, whether it’s helping to make materials for young people and practitioners, administrative work or help with social media.

To register your interest, please fill out this form

Please note that these positions aren’t paid.

I have a question that isn’t listed. How can I contact you?

If you have any questions or to share your thoughts, please email info@supportforus.co.uk