Publish date: 1 April 2021
'Speak CAMHS', a specialist helpline, available to anyone to discuss mental health concerns about children and young people living in Ealing, Hounslow and Hammersmith & Fulham launches today.
The helpline is operated by child & adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) professionals from West London NHS Trust who are familiar with local services and have a range of specialist mental health knowledge. ‘Speak CAMHS’ offers immediate talking support, basic counselling and advice for/about anyone who is under 18 and in distress.
- Is available to anyone, which includes: children and young people, their families, carers, CAMHS colleagues, and other professionals, such as GPs, social workers and teachers.
- Aims to support children and young people to utilise their safety plan, which they may have formulated with their community or other specialist care teams, in order to minimise any potential risk issues.
- Aims to avoid and de-escalate periods of crisis for children and young people, therefore reducing visits to emergency departments and avoiding admissions to psychiatric hospital.
The name of the helpline, Speak CAMHS, was chosen by young people in an online competition.
On choosing the names, competition winners Lily and Melik said:
Lily (pictured right): “Creatively contributing towards the new helpline has been a great honour. I, as a previous service user, know the importance of services feeling accessible and comfortable - so I hope the helpline will enable young people to feel as though they can use the support offered when necessary.”
Melik (pictured left): “The helpline was a great idea and I was glad to be a part of it. Winning the competition was exciting and gave me a sense of accomplishment. I remember being shown my name suggestion on paper in a real format in one of the group sessions and I felt as though I contributed meaningfully. I think the new Speak CAMHS line will help young people express their feelings and worries in crisis moments.”
How to contact Speak CAMHS
Call 0800 328 4444 and choose Option 2 for CAMHS.
The helpline is open:
- Monday to Friday from 8am to 11pm
- Weekends and Bank holidays from midday to 8pm