Primary Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service – Halton

Primary Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service - Halton

Description of the The Primary Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service

The key purpose of the Primary Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (PCAMHS) is to provide early intervention support and prevention of mental health problems in young people age 0-19 years living in the Halton area.

We do this through:

  • Consultation with other professionals and agencies to provide a reflective thinking space where there are complex family systems, life events or multi agency involvement that have resulted in a young person’s mental health being negatively affected.
  • Training provision to other professionals including the Short Child and Adolescent Mental Health Programme, STORM suicide and self-harm training, Solution Focused Interventions, Motivational Interviewing and Cognitive Behavioural Interventions (CBT).
  • Individual Work with children, young people and families using therapies such as CBT and solution focused interventions.
  • Joint work and liaison with other services and children and families to ensure that needs are met in the best way possible with the right people involved

In St Helens and Halton, the team also provide support to children and young people aged 4-16 years who are on Level 3 of the Healthy Weight Pathway (this means your BMI is over a certain number and are overweight).

Members of the team work alongside a nurse clinician, dieticians and lifestyle coaches to look at how being a healthy weight can improve your mental well-being and how healthy lifestyle changes can be achieved.

What is mental health?

Mental health is about how we feel on the inside.

Everyone goes through ups and downs in life and sometimes our thoughts and feelings can get in the way of our everyday life.

When this happens, we might need support from people who can help us to understand what is affecting us and how we can make positive changes.

Having a good mental health includes:

  • Feeling good about ourselves
  • Being able to make good friendships
  • Having confidence in ourselves
  • Knowing our strengths and skills
  • Feeling able to solve our problems
  • Having hopes and goals for our future

Why is a healthy weight service within mental health?

In addition to possible physical health complications, evidence suggests that children who are overweight are more likely to experience bullying, social exclusion and low self-esteem.

All these things are important when we think about being mentally healthy.

Making changes to our weight can be hard. Knowing what to do and being able to do it are different things.

Sometimes our thoughts and feelings can stop us from acting in the way we would like to.  What we eat can also be linked to how we feel.

Sometimes we night eat more or sneak food because something has made us feel bad or worried.

It is easy to become locked into a cycle of using food to control our feelings.  As a parent, it can be hard to know what a healthy diet is and how much is enough.

The service can help children, young people and families to set small, achievable lifestyle changes to become healthier and happier.

Confidentiality and Consent

When we seek your consent we are asking for your agreement to work with us and allow us to share your information with other professionals to support you in the best way we can.

Consent allows you to make up your mind about becoming involved in treatment and interventions.

Everyone aged 16 or more is thought to be able to give consent for themselves, and the law says that if a child under 16 has the ability and can fully understand what is proposed, then he or she can give consent for themselves.

If someone is not able to give consent for themselves, then someone with parental responsibility may do so on their behalf.  This person will usually be the child’s birth parents, but it could also be another relative or the local authority.

Confidentiality means not talking to other people about what you have said to us in private.

We will always ask what information you feel comfortable about us sharing with other people and will respect your wishes.

However, we have to follow rules about sharing information, and if we are concerned that a child or young person may hurt themselves or hurt others then we do have to share this information.

Who can access the service?

Children and young people aged 0-19 years presenting with a mental health problem and who are registered with a Halton GP.

The Healthy Weight Service is open to any child or young person aged 4-16 years registered with a GP in Halton or St Helens and whose weight is above the 98th Centile (your GP or school health nurse can check this for you).

Professionals who would like advice, consultation or support in meeting the mental health needs of a child or young person they are working with who fulfill the criteria detailed above.

How can people access the service?

Referrals are accepted via the completion of a referral form by a professional.

The person making the referral should always seek the permission of the family and young person to do so.

Professionals may also contact the service for advice and guidance.

Referrals are not currently accepted from children, young people or their families/carers.

All referrals received are considered within five working days and discussed at a weekly team meeting.

If we feel we are the right service to help, initial appointments are offered within NHS guidelines of 18 weeks, though it is usually sooner than this.

An initial appointment might be with the professional making the referral, the child and family, someone working closely with the family or a group of people depending on how we think the service can be most useful in addressing the presenting concerns.

Where is the service offered?

The team is based at:

The Bridges Learning Centre
Crow Wood Lane

A first appointment is usually offered at Woodview Children’s Development Centre at The Bridges Learning Centre or at Lowe House Resource Centre for young people on the St Helens Healthy Weight pathway.

We also see people at school, at home, or in a community setting (such as a Children’s Centre) if it is more convenient for you, or we think this a better environment to meet.

Our office hours are from 9am until 5pm, although we may meet with you outside these hours if necessary.

The service runs from Monday through to Friday.  The service is closed on public holidays.

The team admin officer is usually able to answer all calls within office hours and will either respond directly to your query or ensure that your message is passed to the relevant practitioner.

If we do not answer the phone, please leave a message on the voicemail and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

Contact Details

If you have any questions or feedback please contact:

The Primary Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team
The Bridges Learning Centre
Crow Wood Lane

Telephone: 0151 495 5095

Related Websites

Young Minds


Family lives

Hands on Scotland


Royal College of Psychiatrist