Introducing The CAMHS Intensive Community Support Team (ICST)

Who are the Intensive Community Support Team (ICST)?

The ICST are a team of mental health clinicians in CAMHS, who can offer a higher level of support in the community than some of our other CAMHS teams. ICST is a multidisciplinary team made up of staff from a variety of different backgrounds, including social work, clinical psychology, psychiatry, mental health nursing, family therapy, speech and language therapy, and those with lived experience of mental health challenges. They support under 18’s, who are having significant difficulties with regulating their emotions effectively and as a result may be engaging in behaviours that are deemed risky or problematic to themselves or those around them. Often young people who are referred to ICST will have seen the crisis team several times or had an inpatient admission.

Take a look at this short video for more information about the team:


Where are the ICST based?

The team are based at the Valentine Centre CAMHS base, near Glenfield Hospital, but can also come out to home visits or do in-reach work into hospital where needed.

What do they do?

The team’s primary mission is to a) help avoid young people having to go into psychiatric hospital in the first place (where this is avoidable) and to b) help get young people out of psychiatric hospital quicker (where difficulties can be safely managed in a community setting). ICST can work with young people whilst they are still in hospital to help support them to leave hospital.

ICST can get involved quickly and see young people 2-3 times a week to offer a high level of support to keep young people safe and well in the community. They also offer telephone coaching to help young people in the heat of the moment where they might be struggling with difficult emotions. ICST can offer a consistent clinician, so it’s not a new face every time you access support. You’ll also get to know the team, so that you can still have support from someone you know if your primary clinician is off. ICST will work with your Lead Professional in your main CAMHS team and make sure things are linked up and not feeling confusing or overwhelming for you.

The Intensive Community Support Team will meet with you and your family/carer/support team to talk about what is currently going well, not so well, and what support might be needed. Part of this will be to think about when things feel risky and what support you need to help you feel, and be, safe.


What will happen once I’ve spoken to the Intensive Community Support Team?

ICST can offer a bunch of different things to help people stay well. These include:

  • Help to feel safe.
  • Practical, solution-focused, goal-based work (like building confidence in the community or working to overcome a fear).
  • Support to understand any behaviours that have become problematic and are getting in the way of living a life that feels worth living.
  • Space to talk through difficult things that might have happened in a way that feels safe.
  • A therapy called DBT (this stands for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) and has a good track record of supporting people to reduce behaviours that have become problematic and to increase alternative coping skills.
  • Support to help you and your family/carers to communicate more effectively when things are stressful.
  • Working with the adults around you to help them understand and support you better.

Whatever the outcome of your assessment, you will have an action plan to help and support you.


If you need urgent help for your mental health, you can call the Central Access Point (CAP) on 0808 800 3302 who have an 24 hours urgent mental health support line. You can also

  • Speak to an adult friend or someone you can trust as soon as you can
  • If you are already seen by CAMHS and it is in office hours (9-5), call your CAMHS worker
  • Speak to your school nurse or social worker
  • Call your GP
  • Call 111