Information for children, families and organisations

When seeking help, children, young people and their parents and carers are often unsure of where to go for help, how to access services and what to expect. This can contribute to the fear and adverse effects of stigma experienced by the child and their parents/carers. Useful interventions might include the development and dissemination of age-appropriate and user friendly information about child mental health and relevant services across all levels of CAMHS.

All services should consider how they impart information if they are to be proactive in tackling stigma and raising mental health awareness in a strategic way. Developing materials and protocols to ensure all are well informed about their care is an inexpensive and easily achieved outcome.



Methods for successful improvement of information

Methods for successfully developing information to tackle stigma include producing leaflets, pamphlets and websites about services. All relevant materials should include details on how to access services, and what to expect during appointments and also in between appointments, especially with regards to waiting times and onward referral to other services.

It makes sense to provide information to both children and parents/carers, in appropriate language. A good example would be sending out leaflets with appointment letters, one for parents/carers with the relevant information, and one for children providing answers to any questions that may concern them.

The Plymouth pilot site has included a frequently asked questions section (FAQs) in their publicity, developed in partnership with children and young people to reduce any fears they may have about accessing mental health services.

Involvement of children and young people in the design and wording of information is an excellent way of making sure it is user-centred.



Case study: Online information and signposting service

Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust has developed an online information and signposting service to help children, young people and their families learn about services that could help them and what to expect from them, as well as helpful information about various mental health problems. The website was developed with children and young people to ensure each section was appropriate to the target audience, including use of relevant language and imagery. For more information visit the Where's your head at website.

Case study: Northamptonshire Wellbeing Wall

Northamptonshire County Council, working in the Children's Rights Division was commissioned by Northamptonshire NHS to develop a participation project around the Tackling Stigma pilot. The aim was to develop a strong group of young people, to empower them to learn about issues around mental health and stigma and to facilitate them to design and deliver activities/materials for fellow children and young people, professionals and parents to educate them about stigma and children and young people’s mental health. The Northamptonshire pilot was creating a wellbeing wall using graffiti art (amongst other visual methods) to increase knowledge and understanding of mental health and stigma.

Read the full case study in the Northamptonshire pilot site section.



  • Website Choosing what's best for you: what scientists have found helps children and young people who are sad, worried or troubled

    Booklet aimed at children, young people and families to help them make treatment choices. It explains the evidence base for what has been shown to work for children and young people with mental health problems.

    Publisher: CAMHS Evidence Based Practice Unit
    Published Date: 01/07/2007

  • Adobe Acrobat Document Introducing CAMHS - Oxleas

    A leaflet for children who have a CAMHS appointment. It is very child centred and asks the young person to note down their concerns so that they can be talked about in their first appointment.

    Publisher: Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust
    Published Date: 01/11/2007

  • Adobe Acrobat Document Well?

    A magazine produced by the Scottish Executive for professionals which looks at child and adolescent mental health, what it is, what helps and the interventions/services available. Includes contributions from young people.

    Publisher: Scottish Executive
    Published Date: 01/04/2007

  • Website City and Hackney CAMHS

    An excellent website with age appropriate information for children, young people, parents and professionals about child and adolescent mental health issues and services.

    Publisher: City & Hackney Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
    Published Date: 27/09/2010



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