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W3C Compliance

6.6.3 Mental Health and Self Harm


This short chapter highlights the nature of access to CAMHS and the areas of service it can provide to children and young people.


Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat. Improving Outcomes for People Experiencing Mental Health Crisis

DfE, Mental health and behaviour in schools - Departmental advice for school staff (2016)


This chapter was reviewed and updated in November 2017 to add a new section and link to the Merton Safeguarding Children Board Self-Harm Protocol.


  1. Introduction
  2. CAMHS Provision
  3. Emergency Liaison Service
  4. Merton Safeguarding Children Board Self-Harm Protocol

1. Introduction

There is a partnership between the Child Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and Merton Children, Schools and Families and they a close relationship have with the South West London and St George's Mental Health NHS Trust.

The aim of the partnership is to provide an accessible and timely access to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and the professionals working within CAMHS delivering these services are: Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologist, Clinical Specialist, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Family Therapist, Psychotherapist and Music Therapists.

2. CAMHS Provision

CAMHS offer the following type of interventions: Medication, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Play Therapy, Family Therapy, Psychotherapy, Music Therapy and Parenting Work. A specialist Substance Misuse Worker leads on cases where there is a dual diagnosis.

CAMHS can offer case consultation to social workers, residential workers and foster carers; provides adoption support, support and assists the transition for Looked After Children within placements, if they have been disrupted. They will also support social workers or other lead practitioners, with specific areas of work such as Life Story Work.

There are a number of named leads within Children, Schools and Families but at a Head of Service level there is a named person that attends meetings and other forums to discuss joint working together agreements with health.

The CAMHS @ Social Care team consists of CAMHS workers embedded in the Children’s Social Care teams. They take referrals directly from Team Managers, and provide a link with Merton Specialist CAMHS. They work closely with the Looked After Children Nurse so there is a close monitoring of the needs of those children that have Mental Health problem or are known to other services.

Merton will ensure that a priority referral is made to CAMHS if a child presents to any of their services during their Single Assessment process (see Single Assessment Guidance). It will be CAMHS that decide if they will offer a service to a Child that presents with emotional, behavioural or mental health issues that require a specialist intervention. They will be required to share the outcome of any decision making with the referring agency.

3. Emergency Liaison Service

The emergency liaison service forms an integral part of CAMHS and covers both Merton and Sutton. The service works with children and young people aged up to 18 years old who present to St George’s and St Helier’s Emergency Departments, with self harm or mental health difficulties (this may include alcohol/drug intoxication).

The service operates Monday - Friday between 09:00am and 17:00pm although referrals must be received before 15:30pm for assessment on the same day. Referrals are received by telephone and will be screened as far possible prior to assessment. If a young person is admitted to a paediatric or medical bed overnight, their assessment will take place once any medical treatment has been completed and they are considered medically fit for discharge. Children and young people presenting out of hours are referred to the adult psychiatric liaison team at St George’s, or the on-call psychiatrist at St Helier’s.

4. Merton Safeguarding Children Board Self-Harm Protocol

This protocol is for all professionals working with children and young people (0 -18 in Merton) to support both them and young people to reduce self-harm incidents by:

  • Supporting agencies to timely manage self-harm as it arises;
  • Improving the response on presentation, disclosure or suspected signs of self-harm;
  • Improving the quality of support, advice and guidance offered by all workers who work with children and young people.

Click here to see Merton Safeguarding Children Board Self - Harm Protocol.