How to get involved in CAMHS
There are plenty of ways for young people to get involved with activities in CAMHS. If you are interested in taking part with anything, contact your care co-ordinator to find out how to get started.
Youth Advisory Groups
We run participation groups for young people in each borough that we call Youth Advisory Groups (YAG).
Our YAGs are a great way to build up, and empower our young people to affect change in CAMHS.
These groups are a way for young people to share their thoughts and feelings about CAMHS, and also work on projects that are interesting and fun like short films, art workshops, and more.
Alchemy - a young person's recovery college
The Alchemy Project is a series of psycho-educational courses and workshops to support young people with emotional regulation, managing symptoms and sustaining long term recovery.
The project started in Lewisham as a way to bring the ethos of the Recovery College to CAMHS, and is supported with funding from the Maudsley Charity.
Alchemy is a co-produced service, meaning it has been created by staff members and young people who have accessed the service previously or who still currently are accessing it.
Alchemy also includes activity based, social inclusion workshops to support the development of social interactions, confidence and self-esteem.
Alchemy is currently running in Lewisham, and Lambeth.
The Youth Volunteering Programme
The Trust's volunteer service run a program for young people between the ages of 16-25 years old. This program is for any young person that wants to gain experience of working in a mental health hospital, or just give back to the community.
The program runs a timetable which has three main terms:
- Spring (Jan-April): about 2 hours per week for 14 weeks
- Summer (academic holiday, July & Aug): about 5 hours per week for 6 weeks
- Autumn (Sept-Dec): about 2 hours/week for 14 weeks
If you want to learn more about the programme, take a look at the Youth Volunteering Programme page.
At CAMHS we want to make sure the people that see children and young people are the right people for them. We regularly involve children and young people on interview panels to help us make the right choice.
Having children and young people help us with interviews helps us discover things that, as adults, we might miss due to our own professional or personal biases.
Anyone wishing to get involved with interview panels needs to complete a one-day course run by our patient participation lead. This training course gives participants all of the knowledge they need to understand the process of decision making in interviews, and how to ask the right questions.
Training and presentations
The young people that use our services have a lot to say about their experiences, and we want them to help teach others by sharing their story.
Including young people in as presenters with lived experience at events and training courses can help give attendees invaluable insight into what matters for children and young people, and how our services are doing.
Meetings, events and other projects
We always encourage children, young people and their parents or carers to get involved with committee meetings where possible. We run regular patient participation meetings where young people and parents or carers are invited to take part and help steer us in the right direction.
We also regularly run events aimed at young people and their families, and encourage people to get involved to help plan, and run the events.