How to get an appointment with CAMHS
Yesterday I attended an event in Coventry at The Welcome Centre which was organised by Cerebra and had many speakers talking about research in children and young people with Intellectual Difficulties, Autism, Mental Health and many other subjects. It was an excellent event which was brilliantly organised in a state of the art venue.
I went along because I wanted to keep up to date with recent findings, current research and how the system works generally. It was well worth the time, I learnt a lot that can really help people in the Autism One on One group and people who wish to tap into the resources on there. It wasn’t all good news however, CAHMS is desperately under funded which is why it is so hard to get an appointment with them, every area also has different criteria under which they work. I was astounded to hear this particular point, surely there should be a standardisation within CAMHS that means no matter where you situated you are able to access the same resources?
We need more money to go into Mental Health Care all round
Birmingham has 11 full time Psychiatrists, they should have between 50-60 in order to meet the needs of the local population, this gives us some measure of how desperate the situation actually is. Other news is that the government wants to cut the number of beds allocated to young people with mental health needs by two thirds, I believe this could potentially be disastrous. For some people a stay in hospital is the only answer but the government wants their care to be in the community. I applaud this as being quite rightly the way forward but with only an extra £10m being allocated over the next few years I seriously doubt that local resources would be able to cope.
So that’s some of the bad news, here is a little bit more that, in my opinion, is also not good news. Apparently over 80% of all research into Autism is spent on finding out what causes it. I agree that research is needed in this area but the people alive now, living with the condition, need strategies to be able to live happily in, what is to them, an alien world. Which brings me to some good news!
Warwick and Birmingham Universities have teamed up to share data and do joint research that can help our children now. There are several studies that people can ask to sign up for including a sleep study which will actually enable the researchers to see and track your child’s sleep via a wrist watch, a carefully placed camera and other data collected over a week. Age range for this one is 5-15 years. Another one is aimed at non-verbal or children who have limited speech and who show self-injurious behaviour, the age range for this one is 2-15 years and 8 months.
Another good organisation to follow is LeARN-Learning Disability Research Network. Have a look at their information as they have a lot of studies you can apply for there as well.
These are only a couple of research projects currently being undertaken but there are numerous projects constantly being instigated and a lot of them will ultimately supply the parents with very real strategies based on the information gathered. For more information on both of these projects and to find out about others please go to our Facebook page Autism One on One
So, how do you get to see CAMHS? An enormous amount of persistence and log keeping is vital and the strength to keep harassing them until you finally get an appointment but apparently there are a couple of great shortcuts you can take as well, I don’t feel it’s fair to share them on here but please get in touch via the Autism One on One page privately and I will do my best to answer all of you and supply the information directly to you.
I will do my best to share as much information from yesterday as I can via this blog so keep your eyes peeled!