Collingham CAMHS is a CNWL NHS inpatient care team providing mental and emotional health services to children under the age of 13 their families and carers.

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Collingham CAMHS is a CNWL NHS inpatient care team providing mental and emotional health services to children under the age of 13 their families and carers.

We are a team of specialist clinicians, therapists and nurses. We provide specialist services to those who are experiencing and need help with thoughts feelings, difficult experiences, emotional, relationship and behavioural difficulties in family life, school or the wider world. These include bullying, eating difficulties, family issues, anger, sadness, worry, finding it hard to concentrate or sit still, trouble with friends, unusual thoughts and more.


Children take part in a variety of therapeutic activities and attend school here at Collingham. Parents attend family therapy sessions and can access a number of support groups.

Every child’s journey is different, most children stay here Mon-Fri and may or may not go home at weekends whereas some children will go home everyday after school. If children stay they are here approx. 3-4 months depending on their needs.

Working in partnership with children, families and community based professionals is at the centre of what we do. We recognise parents have to balance helping their children as well as other life/work commitments; we do our best to work with families to book meetings and sessions at appropriate times.

We want children to have an enjoyable time here at Collingham, so  we will help and support children as well as families and carers to ensure everyone feels supported and can take positive steps forward. 

Everyone’s CAMHS journey will be different. We will work with you to find the best help and support.

Having a good relationship with our team is very important. If you have any concerns, please tell us. After a few sessions if it’s not improved, together we can talk about changing team or treatment.

People within our teams are frequently referred to as ‘Clinicians’ or ‘Therapists’ but this list provides an in depth view of our teams that work at CAMHS and some of the treatments we can offer.

Administration / Receptionist
We organise appointments, answer the phones, provide administrative support and welcome children, young people and their families into our CAMHS service.

Case Manager
We try to ensure your care that is properly planned and you are getting the help you need. We can support you in becoming more active and are skilled in assessing and managing changing needs.

Social Worker
We are trained to provide extra support to help keep you safe and can offer counselling. We can support you with all your social, legal, financial and education needs. There are different types of social workers, some will help if you are in danger of abuse or in care.

Family Therapist
We aim to help families work together and use their strengths to enable them to relieve distress, strengthen relationships, and improve behaviour. We will see you and/or your family to help each other when they may be experiencing difficulties. When some people in your family are having difficulties, it can affect everyone in the family. We believe that by talking together in different ways, we can help to improve relationships, and help everyone understand each other better.

Nursing Team
We are very good at listening and talking about things that are upsetting. Nurses work closely with all members of the team and can help work out practical ways of coping. They provide information and advice and work with everyone involved to find positive steps forward.

Occupational Therapist (OT)
We find ways to support you with self-care, leisure, activities and interests.  They complete assessments to explore barriers and challenges getting in the way of live. They then help develop new skills and build confidence to thrive and live a fulfilling life.

We can assist in medication management, they can provide education around medications, provide consultation on medication selection, conduct reviews for potential issues, monitor medication effectiveness and safety, contribute to preventive efforts, manage adverse events, provide crisis response when medication-related issues arise.

Psychological Therapy (also known as Talking Therapy)
Talking therapy is based on verbal communication offered by various teams across different treatments depending on your needs. It involves paying close attention to how you communicate your feelings and experiences, for example, through words, play or behaviour. By being understood and developing a thoughtful relationship with your therapist, we hope you’ll find new and healthier ways of managing difficult situations. Some types of Talking therapy include: Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Family Therapy, Group Therapy.

Psychologist (practitioner, clinical and counselling)
We help with the way you feel and think and behave on a daily basis. We will support you with day to day challenges to reduce distress, promote change, build resilience and discover strength as you grow up. We also have Assistant and trainee psychologists, although they are not registered healthcare professionals, they do have a high level of knowledge and skill through their experience and training.

Psychiatrist (also known as a Doctor)
We are doctors specially trained when you need help to stay safe. We may prescribe medicines and we may also help arrange for you to go to a hospital if you need to. We are here to help so talk to us if you have any questions about medicine or hospital visits.

Social Worker
We are trained to provide extra support to help keep you safe. There are different types of social workers, some help those in danger of being abused or if they are in care. Some social workers are trained in mental health and can offer counselling.

We have a school programme every day. Children will attend lessons in small groups for school work and other activities. Education is provided by teachers working for the Chelsea Community Hospital School. Children have access to the full National Curriculum. 

  • How to make a referral 
    • Young people, families, and carers can call Collingham CAMHS for advice on how to get help and support: 020 383 7816
    • Families, carers can speak to a GP's who can do a referral on your behalf, download a form here.
    • Healthcare professionals, school staff, GPs and social workers can also make a referral, download a form here.
  • Need help urgently? Click here. 

Not everyone is suited to Collingham CAMHS, if you are unsure please call Collingham CAMHS: 020 383 7816

Can I choose whether to be admitted to Collingham or not?

There are some things that you can decide about and some things that your family or carers can decide. This depends on how much you are able to understand about a decision. This is called ‘Gillick competence’. The admitting doctor will talk to you to decide whether you understand enough to make decisions about being admitted. Often young people coming to Collingham are not ready to make decisions about admission. In this case, families or carers make the decision to consent on your behalf. Even if your family or carer make the decision your views are very important to us and we will discuss things with you regularly.

What does consent to treatment mean?

There are some decisions about treatment that you can decide about and some that you cannot. Again, this depends on how old you are and what the decision is about. Sometimes young people have enough understanding to make these decisions. The staff will assess whether this is the case and let you know which bits of your treatment you can decide about. Your views and ideas are always important to us. If staff decide that you are not ready to make these decisions your families or carers will be asked to make the decision about treatment on your behalf. Whoever consents to your treatment can change their mind at any point and tell us that they no longer want the treatment to continue. Treatment cannot be restarted again unless consent is given again. Keep talking to your parents, families, carers and the staff at Collingham to let us know your thoughts about your treatment.

What can I do if I am unhappy about my treatment?

If you are unhappy about your treatment at Collingham (for example the medicines you are taking, individual sessions, family therapy meetings and other groups), you should talk to a member of staff and your families or carers. They will need to decide with you if you need to continue with medicines and sessions. If you change your mind about your treatment you should talk to a member of staff and your families or carers. They will need to decide with you if you need to continue with these treatments. We will see if an agreement can be reached about changes to your treatment and therapy. Sometimes, your family might feel your treatment is so important that they will decide for you, if you do not have the understanding to make these decisions yourself. Very rarely, the doctors and nurses might have to decide for you. This could mean using the Mental Health Act. We have another leaflet that will help explain this to you.

What if I need to talk to someone else?

At Collingham we have an advocate who comes to visit every second Friday at 10am. An advocate is someone who speaks up for people and helps them to speak for themselves. You can talk to them in private about anything that might be worrying you. Their job is to listen to you and speak to us on your behalf about your views, wishes and worries. They do not work for Collingham or social care. They are completely on your side. If you are unhappy about the way we work, you should speak to a member of staff as well as your families or carers. You could also call Childline from any phone by dialling 0800 11 11. The clinical nursing manager could meet with you to listen to your concerns and try to help. If after talking about it, you are still unhappy, you have the right to make a complaint to the CNWL Trust, the organisation we work for. The advocate, your family or carers, or your key nurse can help you do this. We can give you a detailed leaflet about how to do this.

What can I do if I would like another view on my problems?

Whoever is providing consent for your treatment can also ask for another doctor’s view of your difficulties. This is called ‘asking for a second opinion’. Your views and ideas are always important to us. If you would like to request a second opinion you should speak to your family, carers or a member of staff. Again, we have to decide if you understand enough to make a decision about this or whether it is something your family or carers should decide about.

What will my parents know about my treatment?

Staff will speak with your family or carers about how you are getting along and any worries you may tell us – we are all working together to help you. If there are things that you do not want us to tell your family or carers then we will talk to you about this and decide whether we must tell them or not. This will depend on things like how old you are and what you might want to keep private. Staff will have to decide whether you understand enough to decide this. Sometimes we must talk to your family or carers about things if there is something they need to know to keep you safe.

Who else will know about my treatment?

There are meetings on the unit where staff will talk with people you met (such as teachers, doctors, social workers, psychologists and nurses) before coming to Collingham. We tell them how you are getting along. Staff might talk to new people if they will be seeing you when you leave. This way they can continue to help you. We will tell you who we are talking to. If there are things you do not want us to tell other people we will talk to you about this and decide whether we must tell them or not. We will always listen to you. If you understand enough to make a decision we will uphold your wish for privacy, unless we are concerned for your safety in any way. We have a duty to keep you safe and would need to share any concerns we had about your safety in general. We do not think that keeping secrets is helpful. Your case records are kept safely electronically. Only professionals working with you will have access to these records.

Can I see my case records?

All children have a health record at Collingham that is kept safely. If you or your family or carers want to see your case record we can give you advice about how to ask for this to happen. Staff have to decide whether you understand enough to make this decision. Otherwise your family or carers can decide whether or not to see your record. The consultant psychiatrists would usually sit down with you and go through the case record and discuss any concerns.

When can I speak to and see my family or carers?

Your family or carers can call you every evening. If they have not called by 8pm you can ask to call them and speak to them privately. The nursing staff will help you with this. On a Wednesday most children get a visit from their families, parents or carers.

Where will I sleep?

Children have their own room when they first come to Collingham. We would like you to bring posters, photos, favourite duvet covers, and your favourite cuddly toys to Collingham so that your bedroom reminds you of home. There are members of the nursing team working all night long to look after you and help you if you feel worried about anything. They will check on you hourly during the night.

What clothing should I bring?

We do lots of activities and have a lot of fun during the day. Your pack contains a list of the type of clothes to bring. It is important that you do not bring your best clothes and that you wear shoes that you can play in.

What will happen on the day of admission?

On the day of admission, both your family or carers and yourself will meet with a doctor and nurse to discuss the admission. We will talk to your family or carers about you, from when you were born to now. The doctors will listen to your chest, feel your tummy and check on your physical health. They will talk with you about any worries you may have and the goal of the admission. You will be given a copy of the care plan which tells you what will happen during your stay. It will then be time to say goodbye to your parents or carers and get on with the day. It may feel strange and scary at first but you will quickly make friends and start to have fun.

What are the rules at Collingham?

The rules at Collingham are very important to us. They help make Collingham a safe and friendly place to be.

The three most important rules are:

1. Respecting others. This means understanding that people come in all shapes, sizes, skin colour, with different religious practices and languages. Whoever we are and whatever our views we are all important. We should learn from one another and respect differences. We do not tolerate any bullying.

2. No hitting, hurting yourself or others. When you feel cross or angry, find a safe place to calm down and speak to staff. Staff are always happy to help you when you can’t manage, it is important to try and listen when they are helping you.

3. No damaging property. We will expect you or your family to pay for any damage.

There are other rules about bedtimes which are different depending on your age. Sleep is very important for good health. There are also rules about when children can play or have computer time. These will be explained to you by staff when you arrive.

Take a tour of Collingham inpatient service