Learning Disabilities Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (LD -CAMHS) is a specialist team within the generic CAMHS team. We are made up of professionals who specialise in meeting the psychological, emotional and mental health needs of children and young people with a learning disability. We are a multi-disciplinary team made up of the following members:
- Learning Disabilities Nurse
- Occupational Therapist
- Consultant Child and Adolescent Learning Disabilities Psychiatrist
- Clinical Psychologist
- Assistant Psychologist
- Medical Secretary
LD-CAMHS offers a service for children and young people up to the age of 18. If the young person continues to have mental health needs after that age we will support their transition to adult mental health services.
For the majority of our young people this will mean transition to the Walsall Learning Disability Community Service at Orchard Hills House. This service accepts referrals of young people from special school backgrounds who have a moderate to severe learning disability. To help young people transition smoothly to this service a member of the LD-CAMHS can attend the school reviews for young people from the age of 14 onwards. They can also participate in the monthly multi-agency transition meetings for young people with learning disabilities. In the year before the young person’s 18th birthday we will ask their/ their family’s consent to discuss their ongoing needs with the Learning Disabilities Transition Nurse. If this service is considered appropriate a written referral will be made. Prior to the young person’s transition to the Learning Disability Community Service a review meeting can be arranged for the young person, their family or carers, LD-CAMHS and a member of the Learning disability Community Service.
For those young people who have less significant learning disabilities and are able to access non-specialist mental health services LD-CAMHS will support their transition to Adult Mental Health Services (AMHS). Up to 6 months before the young person is due to leave LD-CAMHS we will make a written referral to the appropriate Community Recovery Service (CRS) explaining why the young person needs to transfer and inviting the CRS to attend a review meeting with the young person and their family. If the young person needs to be transferred from an LD-CAMHS Consultant Psychiatrist to a Consultant Psychiatrist in AMHS a letter will be written from consultant to consultant and a review meeting will be arranged for both consultants to meet with the young person and their family.
We aim to establish whether a young person should be referred to Walsall Learning Disability Community Service or the AMHS before the young person is 18 by liaising with the Learning Disabilities Transition Nurse. However, young people cannot transfer to adult services before their 18th birthday and the decision about whether a young person is accepted into either adult service is made by those services and not by LD-CAMHS.
Who is the LD CAMHS for?
We provide a service to young people of school age (up to 18 years old) who have an identified emotional or mental health difficulty and a diagnosable learning disability. Children with learning disabilities often present with mental health difficulties differently from those without learning disability. Therefore we also offer a service to young people who have severe challenging behaviour.
Examples of the types of difficulty we frequently work with are anxiety, self-injurious behaviour, emotional difficulties, problems with anger and aggression, attention/over activity problems and social difficulties.
How can we help you?
We can offer the following help:
- Assessment of mental health concerns and challenging behaviour
- Multi-disciplinary assessments of Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD
- Advice and support in managing the difficulties described above
- Individual therapy for those young people who are able to use this type of support
- Prescribing, monitoring and reviewing medication
The team may need to work with other services involved with your child (such as school, respite services or the Children with Disabilities Team).
Where will you be seen?
We aim to provide an inclusive and accessible service and you and your child may be seen in a range of settings such as Canalside or the school your child attends. Your initial Choice appointment will take place at Canalside.
What can you expect when you come to CAMHS?
We begin by offering you a ‘Choice’ appointment. At this appointment, a member of the team will meet with you and your child to talk about your needs and difficulties. Understanding the difficulties will enable us to decide how we might be able to help you. If we agree that the service is able to meet your needs, we will decide together on the best action plan and then go on to support you and your family to work towards your chosen goals.
Service users whose first language is not English
We have access to interpreters for service users whose first language is not English. This service is provided by an outside agency and so does need to be pre-booked.
The LD CAMHS is bound by the Trust policy on confidentiality. After our first meeting with you, we will write to the person who referred you and to your G.P. to let them know we have met and briefly what was said and agreed. We will send a copy of this letter to you. We will usually ask parents’ permission to make contact with other professionals (such as schools). The only exception to this is when there are concerns about the safety of a child or young person. In these rare circumstances, we are bound by a duty of care to inform other professionals. If this happens, we will try to discuss this with you first.
How do I give feedback about the service?
If you have a concern, please feel free to speak with a member of the Team in the first instance if you wish. Alternatively, the Service Experience Desk (SED) is the central point of contact for all concerns and enquiries, whether these are formal or informal, complaints, compliments or suggestions. We welcome any comments you may have on the services we provide and consider this to be a valuable source of information and use it to help us provide the very best possible service.