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Who we are

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services - also known as CAMHS - support children and young people up to age 18 with their emotional and mental health and wellbeing.

When we talk about your mental health, we mean how you feel and how you cope with the things going on in your life. This could be connected to anything from school, your friends or even your family life. If you feel you aren’t coping too well with the ups and downs of life, it may be that you need some support to help you manage them better.

If you do need help, CAMHS will work together with you and your family to decide what support you need to have good mental health and wellbeing. Their aim is to help young people get the support they need to tackle any problems early on before they get worse, and to act quickly if they do.

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, Halton Borough Council, local schools, school nurses, social services and other local organisations all work closely together to provide CAMHS services across Halton, to make sure you can access the right support, in the right place and at the right time.  

If you have any questions you can call CAMHS directly on 01928 568 162. Your parents or carers can also call us too if they’d like to speak to someone. 

If you need support outside these hours, you can contact the CAMHS Response Team every day until 9pm, on 01744 627 618. If you need immediate medical attention, you should visit your local A&E department.

We also accept referrals from other health professionals who may be working with you, such as your GP, health visitor, school nurse or social worker. If you are a health professional and would like to make a referral for one of your patients, visit the health professionals section of our website to download the referral form.

Practical information

Our Halton CAMHS Community Team is based at Thorn Road Clinic in Runcorn. Thorn Road Clinic has free parking for staff and visitors.

20230209_154910.jpgChildren and young people accessing the CAMHS in Halton have been receiving extra help with their sessions - with a number of furry creatures, lizards and insects aiding their therapy.

The animal therapy sessions, which have been offered since 2018 but have only just returned after a two year break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, involves using a variety of animals to aid the children and young people to socialise, communicate and learn.

Rabbits, dogs, goats, frog, skunks, a cockroach, skinny pigs, a tortoise and lizards are among the animals to attend the sessions and Karen Rawlinson, Health Care Support Worker with the service, explained: "The use of animals often allows people to relax.

"One of our staff had previous experience of using therapy animals in an adult mental health setting and saw the great impact they had on patients. They wanted to allow the children and young people of Halton to have that same experience to support their mental health and wellbeing."

Animal therapy - camhs 1.png Animal therapy - camhs3.png

All photographs by Neil Russell

The sessions are put together by the Home Safari Animal Assisted Therapy Service in partnership with Mersey Care and have already had a significant impact on the patients, including:

  • One young person struggling with social anxiety has started to engage well after attending only three of the animal therapy sessions
  • Another also benefitted from the sessions with their parent saying: "“My child’s tics reduced, almost stopped during the session."
  • A third child with multiple complex needs is now able to tolerate being around a large group of people, including other children, which is something they have never been able to do previously after just a few sessions with the animals.

Karen added: "So many young people enjoy the sessions and return every month, it's nice to see so many smiling faces. That's not only the young people but also their accompanying parent and carers - one parent told us this is the happiest day of their week."

Sessions are available to all young people who use the CAMHS service in Halton. The sessions are monthly and provide a different type of therapy where they measure the outcomes of the sessions and support our children and young people to manage their mental health and emotional needs.

Thorn Road Clinic