Posted on: 21 September 2022

Meet Harry.

At 11 years old he was admitted to Collingham Child and Family Centre, one of CNWL’s psychiatric wards for children, to help him manage his feelings and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

Collingham is part of our wider child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

Harry stayed at the Collingham centre for 10 months, attending school on the ward and taking part in a variety of therapeutic activities, including family therapy sessions. In this video, Harry talks about his experience and what he learnt during this time.

“I thought it was going to be easy, I thought I’ll be in and out,” he says. “But then in my second week I started staying there and that’s why I realised it’s not going to be easy.”

For nearly 25 years, Collingham has provided a setting for inpatient assessment and treatment for young people, presenting with a wide range of complex and severe mental health problems. There is a range of professionals involved in children’s mental health working there, including doctors, nurses, teachers, psychologists, social workers and therapists.

During Harry’s journey with CAMHS, the team worked in partnership with him and his family to manage and explore ways of tackling difficulties.

Harry says: “I learnt how to ride a bike when I was there. Before I went in, I didn’t know how to ride a bike. Probably one of the best things I learnt there.”

Harry is now home with his family, and he has a range of tools to help manage his OCD.

“[I’m] 100 per cent more happy than I was around this time last year,” he continues. “I feel like the OCD is not really a big bother and it can’t stop me from having plans. If it means going out with my friends, or going out with Mum, or anything like that I can delay the OCD depending on what it’s saying at the time.”

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Picture shows: Harry and his Mum Chloe.

Harry’s story forms part of There’s a place for you, a series of films from our CAMHS service.  

The series, produced by And Productions, was created with our staff, showing the working and clinical experiences of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

CAMHS is made up of a team of professionals with different skills and backgrounds who work together to provide a range of specialist support to young people and their families, helping with their mental health and emotional wellbeing.

In these films, team members from across the service reveal the day-to-day realities of their roles in mental health, highlighting how rewarding their work is, and why they are so passionate about working with young people.

We hope this can help raise awareness of the opportunities a career within CAMHS can offer. The full series will be released online over the coming months, so keep an eye out for more stories.

There's a place for you

Here at CNWL, we have a range of opportunities across CAMHS in mental health, community services, eating disorders, learning disabilities and more – whatever stage of your career you’re at.

Be part of our fantastic team. View current vacancies here.

You can find out more about the different professionals involved in a children’s mental health team on our CAMHS service page.