Camden CAMHS Early Intervention Service for Psychosis
For young people from their 14th to their 18th birthday who live in Camden and are developing psychosis.
What is Psychosis?
Psychosis is a mental illness. Saying someone has psychosis means they have one or more particular symptoms which are distressing and get in the way of everyday life. Often the symptoms mean someone has lost touch with reality in some way. People vary in which symptoms they have and how many of them they have. These symptoms could include:
- hearing voices when no one is there
- seeing, smelling or tasting things that aren’t there
- having very unusual beliefs which no one else agrees with
- very muddled thinking,
- feeling like someone or something else can control you in some way
- feeling like there is a plot against you
Having any of these symptoms does not necessarily mean someone does have psychosis but they do mean it is really important to get the symptoms checked out – often the GP or family doctor is the best person to see first.
Estimates from research suggest that 1-3 people in 100 will get psychosis at some point in their lives and that a lot of the people who experience psychosis first get it when they are older teenagers and young adults
How do people come to see us?
If you are worried about yourself or someone else having symptoms like those described above please get in touch. Often these symptoms could be the sign of another mental illness rather than psychosis. You can get in touch through the Camden Open Minded Joint Intake Referral system or contact us directly – contact details below.
If there is an emergency with any of these symptoms you can contact your GP or attend your local Accident and Emergency service.
We also get referrals from schools, GPs, social workers and anyone else working with young people via the Camden Open Minded Joint Intake Referral system.
What happens if you come to see us?
If you get referred to our service and we agree that it seems that we are the right service for you, the first thing that happens is that we meet with you over several meetings to do what we call an assessment. During this time we will try to get to know you and your family or carers, your circumstances and background, and the nature of the problems you are experiencing.
Following the assessment, we will decide whether our service is the right one for you. If it is, we will work with you for up to three years regardless of your age, providing treatment and support to help you make the best possible recovery. Following that, if still needed, we will help you to find another service which could help. If our service is not the right one for you we will help you find a service which is better suited to you or you may decide that you don’t want any service to support you for now.
The kind of treatment we offer depends very much on the individual. All young people are offered a care coordinator who is responsible for regular support – checking in how you are, finding out what support you need, if any, and helping you to get the right support. You will also have a psychiatrist who helps you think about medication options, checks how any medication is working and liaises with your GP to make sure your physical health is taken care of.
Your care coordinator and psychiatrist will offer support to families and carers and talk with other people involved in your lives, with your consent, such as social workers and schools to help you to get on with your life. Other treatment options include psychological help including cognitive behavioural therapy, vocational and social support, family therapy and carers’ support.
We can also help with issues relating to housing, employment, benefits and immigration.
We will help you to understand your condition and what helps you to stay well and what might make you become unwell. We try to prevent hospital admission where possible by offering intensive community support but sometimes people with psychosis still need to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital. We would visit you in hospital and work closely with the hospital team so you can get out of hospital quickly.
Does this help?
There is a lot of evidence that getting help and treatment for psychosis as quickly as possible through an Early Intervention Service such as ours means that people recover more quickly, get ill again less often and have an improved quality of life.
We ask the young people who see us and their families and carers to fill in questionnaires to seek their views on how helpful they find our service.
Young people aged 14-18 years old with a suspected first episode of psychosis who live in the borough of Camden.