Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) provides treatment and care for children and adolescents up to 18 years and their families who have significant Mental Health disturbance, or who are at risk of such disturbance.
CAMHS is a community based team in Bendigo, with clinicians also based in Swan Hill, Echuca, Castlemaine and Kyneton. Teams comprise of a Team Leader, Consultant Psychiatrist and case managers that may be Registered Mental Health Nurses, Social Workers, Occupational Therapists or Psychologists.
CAMHS does not have an inpatient facility attached. If a child or adolescent requires inpatient admission this is co-ordinated with the patient, patient’s family and the team to determine need for referral to Melbourne based inpatient facility. The service does provide the following programs: Autistic Disorder Assessment Service, CAMHS and schools Early Action, Kids with Confidence, Family Carer Project Position and Infant Mental Health Assessments.
Please contact CAMHS for further information regarding these programs.
The focus is on complex cases that need the skills of a multidisciplinary mental health team to provide case management, assessment, therapy and referral to acute inpatient, residential and non-residential rehabilitation, and other generic health services.
CAMHS provide care for children or adolescents experiencing: mental illness, risk of mental illness, drug and/or alcohol abuse issues, severe emotional issues and other psychological problems and developmental issues.
Contact Mental Health Regional Triage Service 1300 363 788. (24 hours a day, 7 days per week).
To refer to CAMHS, community agencies, parents or adolescents who are able to provide consent, can contact Mental Health Regional Triage Service 1300 363 788 to provide key information about their concerns.
Referring persons are asked to provide the following information:
Any recent presentation/concerns and any new findings and recent medical investigations (Pathology, neurological testing/reports, Histology and Medical Imaging).
A list of current medications (if prescribed), relevant patient history, relevant family history, any other information pertinent and that may assist in decision making with patient, family/carer about their care and treatment.
The key features of the referral that will determine the nature of CAMHS response include the duration, severity and pattern of emotional disturbance, the history of attempted solutions, and the perceived vulnerabilities and strengths of those involved.
CAMHS is mandated to respond more urgently to children and adolescents at risk. CAMHS devotes some of its resources to Interagency Consultancy, Mental Health Promotion and Education to enhance its service effectiveness to a larger number of children and adolescents at risk.
A key feature of the consultancy is to promote community processes to help address mental health needs of young patients and/or to overcome barriers to acceptance of CAMHS involvement by young persons.
Specific consultancy programs are provided to St Luke's Family Care, Child Protection, and Youth Justice.
CAMHS Services include: Assessment and referral to acute inpatient, residential and non-residential rehabilitation, and other generic health services. The team provides case management and individual and family therapy, crisis assessment and treatment, mental health education to carer and community groups, consultation and liaison with other health workers and agencies. CAMHS also provides outreach to smaller, more remote centres.
Programs that are included within the service are: The Autism Disorders Assessment Service (ADAS), CAMHS and Schools Early Action (CASEA) Program, the Kids with Confidence program and infant mental health assessments.
Regional CAMHS has a responsibility to determine referral to Melbourne-based publicly funded inpatient facilities
The two facilities are: Austin Health Marian Drummond Adolescent Unit (13 to 18 years old) and Austin Health Child In-patient unit (up to 12 years old)
CAMHS adolescents may be temporarily placed at the Adult Acute Unit for acute mental health issues.
Children and adolescents may be placed at the Paediatric Ward of the Bendigo Hospital for specific medical reasons.
Adolescents with eating disorders may be admitted under paediatric medical supervision and CAMHS may be involved with joint management.
We value feedback from patients, family members and carers.