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CAMHS POORLY SERVING MORE & MORE STUDENTS?

Discussion in 'Special educational needs' started by pangar, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Alexander Pope once wrote:
    A little learning is a dangerous thing;
    drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:

    I thought it best to start by making it clear that despite some training, a counselling course and more experience than I care to mention here, I am a novice when it comes to CAMHS. A recent experience has made me question whether professionals dealing directly with those services are acting in the best interests of the children involved or are doing as they are bidden by cashstrapped la,la,las.
    Specifically, I have noted a situation whereby it has been made clear that one individual 'does not have any mental health issues' which is odd, as they routinely throw tantrums, bellow hysterically and threaten to damage equipment and harm themselves (which they do in the most dramatic manner imaginable). Although I can see how some of these behaviours can be ascribed to the medication they are taking, I still find it hard to believe that anyone presenting as they do on a reasonably regular basis does not have mental health issues. Indeed, I suspect that this is but another example of those who have a tendency to implode being all but forgotten about while those with a propensity to explode attract all the attention, not to mention the funding.
    I defer here after to others who have had a greater depth and range of experience of such issues than I have. Your comments are most welcome, as ever.
     
  2. Alexander Pope once wrote:
    A little learning is a dangerous thing;
    drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:

    I thought it best to start by making it clear that despite some training, a counselling course and more experience than I care to mention here, I am a novice when it comes to CAMHS. A recent experience has made me question whether professionals dealing directly with those services are acting in the best interests of the children involved or are doing as they are bidden by cashstrapped la,la,las.
    Specifically, I have noted a situation whereby it has been made clear that one individual 'does not have any mental health issues' which is odd, as they routinely throw tantrums, bellow hysterically and threaten to damage equipment and harm themselves (which they do in the most dramatic manner imaginable). Although I can see how some of these behaviours can be ascribed to the medication they are taking, I still find it hard to believe that anyone presenting as they do on a reasonably regular basis does not have mental health issues. Indeed, I suspect that this is but another example of those who have a tendency to implode being all but forgotten about while those with a propensity to explode attract all the attention, not to mention the funding.
    I defer here after to others who have had a greater depth and range of experience of such issues than I have. Your comments are most welcome, as ever.
     
  3. It rather depends what the medication is for...
    There are a lot of SEN type diagnoses that would produce behaviour like this. It may not be mental health related per se. For instance a child on the autistic spectrum may behave like this. They are not mentally ill, any PDD diagnosis could coincide with the behaviours you describe. Equally they may be in desperate need of some intervention and be quite severely depressed.
    That said CAMHS is a bit luck of the draw, they have good offices and useless ones. There a lot of extremely good people working for them and there are some who fall asleep while talking to the child (no it really happened!)
    Is the child statemented and if so what for?



     
  4. Ruthie66

    Ruthie66 New commenter

    I think that sometimes it is difficult to tell what is a mental heath issue and what is more of a social context issue. Some attachment problems will result in very difficult behaviours and while attachment disorder is a mental health condition it is not treatable with meds or a quick course of CBT - it needs long term input in a stable home situation. Plus of course as ulla said CAMHS services are as varied as the people who work there some have a really good understanding of the broader mental health/behaviour interaction and others don't.
     
  5. Ruthie66

    Ruthie66 New commenter

    Hi Pangar
    I'm not sure about therapies but if you haven't read them already there are a couple of books I would recommend

    Inside I'm Hurting: Practical Strategies for Supporting Children with Attachment Difficulties in Schools by Louise Bomber and Teenagers and Attachment: Helping Adolescents Engage with Life and Learning edited by Andrea Perry.
    I have just had recommended to me but haven't read yet Attachment in the Classroom: The links between children's early experience, emotional well-being and performance in school: A Practical Guide for Schools by Heather Geddes
    I have found the first two readable and practical and will let you know what I think of the third when I have read it.
    Behavioural models often work very poorly with kids with attachment problems and if things are strained at home then this will be adding to their distress and difficulty.
     
  6. Thanks for the suggestions. I'll certainly read one of those books at the next available opportunity. When I finished my level 3 course in counselling, I explored the possibility of pursuing the subject further by specialising in Child Psychotherapy but the route there after is neither direct nor is it inexpensive. I find this extraordinary as the need is so great- and the breach is being filled by staff in schools who can literally worry themselves sick, mostly for want of 'supervision'.
     
  7. Well obviously it's wrong to diagnose over the internet, but it does sound like autism to me, in which case CAMHs are right - it isn't a mental health issue.
     
  8. There is a very high rate of comorbidity with autism. At one training session I attended, a man who has worked in the field of autism for 20 years said that around 70 to 75% of people diagnosed with autism also have clinically diagnosable OCD and a lot of the students with autism I work with have OCD behaviours-it's just often missed due to the autism being more immediately obvious and part of the nature of autism being obsessive behaviour anyway. That said, the behaviour in the first post is not indicative of OCD but just putting it out there that mental health conditions can often coincide with autism.
     
  9. Well, people with autism do have high levels of mental health difficulties but the two aren't randomly co-morbid. The mental health difficulties are caused by being autistic in a society which is designed to suit the needs of the neurotypical.
    CAMHs practitioners are mental health specialists not autism specialists and therefore, quite correctly, decline to dabble in areas outside their area of expertise.
     
  10. And because of that attitude, children's needs are badly served.
     
  11. CAMHS-----
    They LOOK for reasons not to get involved and schools simply accept the
    answer. No one actively advocates for the child if the parents aren't
    savvy.
     

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