CAMHS Youth Advisors

CYA stands for CAMHS Youth Advisors, which is a network of around 250 young people who all access or have accessed mental health services in Surrey. They meet together to make new friends, have a voice in services and undertake a range of children's rights projects. CYA works to ensure that children and young people who use CAMHS have a voice in what goes on in CAMHS through being involved in recruitment, staff training, service development and lots more.

Our main aim is to get more children and young people who use services to get more involved with the decisions that are made. As we feel, a service aimed at young people should be developed by them too.

To give you examples, here are some of the projects CYA have done recently:

  • We have our own magazine called Our Voice and are now making our 13th Edition
  • We run Our Perspective training for CAMHS staff, a course facilitated by young people to give participants a deeper knowledge of a young person's perspective of accessing services
  • We have been a part in local and national conferences and events, promoting mental health and service user involvement
  • Held 'clinic make overs' and re-vamped all CAMHS clinics
  • Helped create the look and feel of this website, CAMHS leaflets and other publicity
  • Presented to schools and colleges to raise awareness and reduce stigma around mental health, by sharing young people's experiences and providing information
  • Training Police and GP's in a young person's perspective
  • Help train mental health ambassadors within schools - RAVE
  • Young people regularly sit on many interview panels though 'Recruit Crew' to interview and score candidates applying for a job in CAMHS.

Want to take part?

Are you interested in getting involved or do you want to find out more information about participation in CYA? We are always looking for children and young people to get involved with CYA to take part in different projects and come along to CYA meetings.

You can get involved in lots of different ways, from writing articles/poems for Our Voice magazine and attending CYA meetings to presenting at conferences and schools about mental health. We also hold one off projects regularly from sports activities to music and drama workshops so there is something for everyone!

  • Email: rap.team@surreycc.gov.uk - we would love to hear from you.
  • Add us on Facebook by searching for 'Just CYA' to find out more and see pictures of what we've been up to.
  • Instagram: Our Voice Surrey

'I was nervous to come to a CYA meeting at first but once I was there everyone was very welcoming and friendly and I felt like I really fitted in!'

'CYA was the first place I didn't feel judged by anyone and no one cared that I went to CAMHS, because of this I quickly made some amazing friends.'

'I love getting involved in the projects, I'm now really confident presenting and it looks great on my CV.'