Health conditions

Mental illness specialised services for children and adolescents

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) provides a number of specialised services which support infants, children and young people with complex mental health needs.

To find contact details for these services and programs, use the National Health Services Directory find a health service search on the right-hand side of this page.

Complex Attention and Hyperactivity Disorders Service

The Complex Attention and Hyperactivity Disorders Service is a specialist assessment and consultation service for children aged up to 18, and their families, who have persistent complex attention difficulties and related conditions.

View contact details on the National Health Services Directory (external site).

Eating Disorders Program

The Eating Disorders Program provides assessment, treatment and follow-up for children and young people with eating disorders.

These services are evidence-based (what research says works best) and the team is made up of a wide range of different health professionals. The program works on matching the child or young person with the health professionals who best meet their particular care needs. Health professionals from different fields working together to provide a tailored solution can help provide the best possible outcome for a child or young person.

The Eating Disorders Program sees both inpatients (people who have been admitted to hospital) and outpatients (people who visit a hospital clinic for assessment and treatment but do not stay overnight in hospital).

View contact details on the National Health Services Directory (external site).

Multisystemic Therapy

CAMHS Multisystemic Therapy (MST) is a community-based program which works with at-risk young people aged 12 to 16 years (and sometimes with 10 to 11 year-olds too, if their mental health problems are severe).

This program is for young people who are experiencing serious behavioural problems and are at risk of:

CAMHS health professionals make concentrated efforts in the young person's home, working with a young person's parents and caregivers, their school and other groups concerned about the child's behaviour. The goal is to help families develop skills needed to manage their challenges well so that the young person has a brighter, healthier future.

View contact details for MST locations on the National Health Services Directory:

Pathways

Pathways is a statewide service providing assessment, treatment and support for children with complex and longstanding mental health issues. Pathways provides a day program for children from 0 to 12 years, and their families. The service operates Monday to Friday supporting families from metropolitan Perth as well as rural and remote areas of WA. Families work with the program for 6 months.

Once accepted into the program, each family is allocated a case coordinator who will work together with the family and the clinician that referred them to the program. This is important so that everyone is clear about the goals and expectations of the service.

The case coordinator will get to know the family and collect information from places such as the child’s school and other treating services in preparation for the multidisciplinary team assessment. Recommendations about further treatment options will be discussed at the end of the assessment process.

There is a range of ways Pathways might work with families:

  • home visits
  • visits or contact with the child’s school
  • visits or contact with other community services
  • on-site day program attendance for the child
  • holiday/group programs.

View contact details on the National Health Services Directory (external site).

Touchstone

Touchstone is a day program for young people aged 12 to 17 who are struggling to cope with relationships, having mood difficulties and impulsive self-harming behaviours such as cutting.

It works with the young people, and their families, to help them develop ways to better manage their feelings and associated stress.

Young people are recommended to Touchstone from their community CAMHS service and attend the program for at least 3 days a week. This includes individual, group and family therapy sessions as well as schooling. Touchstone staff include a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist and psychoanalyst with an experienced therapy team of nurses, psychologists, social workers, occupational, art and creative therapists.

In therapy, Touchstone uses the concept of mentalising to help address the difficulties faced by young people individually and within their families. Mentalising refers to the ability to be curious about the thoughts and feelings in ourselves and others that influence how we behave. When we are under stress, this capacity can be lost and it can become harder to manage relationships as a result. By helping, through therapy, to support people to go on mentalising even under stress, young people and family members can be freed up to cope better in relationships.

View contact details on the National Health Services Directory (external site).

Where to get help

  • See your doctor or contact your local community CAMHS service.
  • For urgent mental health issues the Acute Response Team is available 24 hours per day 7 days a week on 1800 048 636.
  • In an emergency attend an emergency department or call 000.

Remember

  • You are not alone – many young people will be experiencing the same challenges.
  • There are services that can work with you to support recovery.

Acknowledgements

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service


This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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