Confused by all the names associated with CAMHS? Want to know a psychiatrist from a psychologist? Read our quick jargon buster.



An adult who can speak and act on your behalf.

Art therapist

Someone who offers sessions with talking and art materials to help you express and explore your feelings. Art therapy may help you find out more about yourself, which can lead to positive changes.


The initial meeting with CAMHS where the team listen to you and decide the best way to help you.


The emotional tie between a baby and her caregiver which informs system of behaviours that a baby displays to get and stay close to her caregiver. This in turn forms the basis for future relationships with peers and adults outside of the family.


BESD schools

Schools for children and young people with behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.



Common Assessment Framework.


Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

CAMHS social worker

Someone who is interested in how your family works and how this affects you growing up. They work with you and your family to help keep safe and to keep your family together.

Child and adolescent psychiatrist

A doctor who is specially trained to work with children and young people with mental health problems. They identify the problem and may prescribe medicines for you if necessary.


The building where a CAMHS consultation would usually take place. See our CAMHS clinic locations.

Clinical nurse specialist

A trained nurse who has a special interest in your thoughts and feelings. They can also help cope with the physical effects of mental health problems.

Clinical psychologist

People who are trained to help children and young people understand the links between their thoughts, feelings and behaviour. They may suggest things for you to try to help you cope with difficult feelings. They may use games and puzzles to help you find out what you are best at, to help you at school.


This means not telling other people about what you tell them in private. There are rules about sharing information about you, people are only told what they need to know in order to help you. Sometimes when staff are worried about your safety, they may have to tell certain people certain things about you, this is part of their job to keep you safe.


This means saying yes to something that affects you. Informed consent means that you fully understand what you are agreeing to.


Professionals who help you to explore feelings about your life so that you can reflect about what is happening and find different ways of doing things.



Department for children, schools and families (central Government).


When you officially leave CAMHS.


Every child matters

Government programme for a national framework to support the "joining up" of children's services - education, culture, health, social care, and justice.


Family therapist

A professional who works with the whole family. They help families to think about changes they can make so everyone gets on better.

Family Solutions

Teams provided by Children’s Services in order to reduce likelihood of family breakdown.



Multi-agency intensive outreach and day programme service for 12- 18 year olds. Visit the HOPE website.



Another word for treatment. It means that you and the staff at CAMHS are working together to help you manage your difficulties. Intervening is like standing in the way of something and stopping it going any further.



Medicine (usually tablets) given to you by a doctor (usually a psychiatrist at first, may be your family doctor later) to help you to feel better or more in control of your feelings. There should be careful discussion with you and your parents/carers before medication is prescribed (given) and you should ask if you do not understand the pros and cons of taking the medication.



National Youth Advocacy Service.


Play therapy

Helps children understand muddled feelings and upsetting events that they haven't had the chance to sort out properly. Rather than having to explain what is troubling them, children use play to communicate.

Primary mental health worker

Professionals who mostly work by offering advice and support to people you already know, like teachers. They can visit you at home or go to meetings at your school.


Pupil referral unit.


Professionals who offer longer and more in depth therapy to work through your feelings and what may be behind them.



This describes the process of someone you know contacting CAMHS as they are worried about you, and setting up an appointment with you to see us.
Some content in this section courtesy of the CAMHS Inside Out booklet produced by Qinmac.