Introducing The CAMHS Primary Mental Health Team

What is the Primary Mental Health Team – Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)?

The Primary Mental Health Team (PMHT) is the link between specialist CAMHS and other Children and Young People’s services across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland (LLR), who support children and young people’s mental health and well-being.


Who works in the PMHT?

The PMHT team is a group of healthcare professionals who specialise in mental health. The team is multi-disciplinary and includes nurses, social workers and other health professionals.  They work with you, and any adults who support you, to create a joint plan to help you achieve more effective mental health outcomes.

Within the PMHT, we also have Children Wellbeing Practitioners (CWPs) who offer low intensity intervention to young people between the ages of 6-18 years with mild mental health difficulties. This can be up to eight individual sessions, using a Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) approach. CBT is a type of talking therapy used to help you understand how you think about things and to change any behaviours that aren’t helping you


What do the PMHT do?

We work with staff / professionals from Health, Education, Social Care and the Voluntary Sector who support children and young people, for example Teachers, GPs, School Nurses, Social Workers and Youth Workers.  We also offer psychological intervention for children and young people (aged between 0-18 years) who have mild-moderate mental health difficulties, such as anxiety and low mood. Care packages are tailored to the young person’s individual needs, goals and circumstances. The Primary Mental Health Team will allocate to a CWP or Primary Mental Health Worker (PMHW) to meet with you and your family to assess your current mental health and decide what the best way forward is for you.  Your initial assessment usually lasts up to 1.5 hours, with the aim of gathering more information about your difficulties. Your family or adults who support you will be invited to join in this conversation because the assessment may require information that you may not be able to provide. You will also be offered time alone to ensure that your views, goals and expectations are discussed.


Where are the PMHT based?

The Primary Mental Health Workers are based at the Valentine Centre on the west side of Leicester. They are open between Monday and Friday 9:00-17:00 and closed on bank holidays. The team has access to other bases where it may be more convenient for you to attend but may also offer you remote intervention sessions by video if this is easier for you.

The Children’s Wellbeing Practitioners are currently linked to GPs’ surgeries within Leicester City.  If you are a registered patient at one of these practices, then you may be able to access this service.  If you are not a patient here, then you will be signposted to other services or support that will help you with your mental health.


Who can refer to the PMHT?

There are many professionals that might refer you to the PMHT.  These include your GP, Paediatrician, Early Intervention Services or Social Worker.  You are not able to self-refer to this service but talk to a trusted adult if you need mental health support.


What will happen once I’ve been referred to the Primary Mental Health Team?

At the end of the assessment, a care plan will be agreed which you will receive a copy of.  Your CWP or PMHW will continue providing the agreed intervention with you and check in with you after the initial assessment. The intervention sessions will be between 6 to 8 sessions but we recognise that sometimes you may need more. At this stage, you and your worker can review your care plan and the options available and agree the next steps. You will complete some questionnaires before, during and after your treatment to monitor progress which helps your worker to tailor the therapy to meet your ongoing and changing needs.

You might also be signposted to other local agencies for further support. Your CWP or PMHW might also speak to other people, such as school or your GP or social worker to make sure they know the best way to support you.


How to access support

Did you know you can request support for your own mental health?  If you feel you need support with your emotional wellbeing and mental health, you can complete an online form found here.  This is known as a self-referral. All self-referrals will be screened by a service called Triage and Navigation who decide which is the best service to help you. Services can include CAMHS Outpatients, Relate, Mental Health In School or Early Help.

The self-referral service cannot be used for all mental health conditions.  These will still need to be referred into by your GP.  For a list of the conditions and if you are able to self refer, click here.  This page will also give you lots of helpful advice, support and links to other useful websites.

There are lots of other  resources and services that can help you with your mental health created by CAMHS but if you feel you need more help by accessing specialist CAMHS, you will need a referral from a healthcare professional such as a nurse, school nurse or a GP. A referral will be made if they think that your difficulties require specialist support. If you’re accessing support from social care or a youth offending team, they might be able to refer you to CAMHS.

Did you know that you can text a school nurse if you need confidential support in a non-emergency?

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