Jargon Busters

camhs cartoon bookFrom medical terms to clinical specialists, there can be some confusion when interacting with health services.

We have produced a selection of definitions to help you get to grips with some of the names, procedures and processes in CAMHS.


Jargon Buster
Assessment An initial assessment is where the child meets a professional from CAMHS and they will listen to them and ask them about their current difficulties. They will help you and your child to think about the best way to help them with their difficulties.
Confidentiality CAMHS is a confidential service which means not telling other people what your child tells us unless they agree to us doing so because it would be helpful. However, the exception to this is if the CAMHS professional is concerned for the child or others then they will have to share it to keep everybody safe.
Referral This is when an adult who knows the child such as a doctor or teacher asks a CAMHS professional to make an appointment to see them so they are able to offer help and support.
Discharge When the child or young person officially leaves CAMHS.
Intervention Another word for treatment. It means that the young person, yourself and the staff at CAMHS are working together to help manage your child's difficulties. Intervening is like standing in the way of something and stopping it going any further.
Medication Medicine (typically tablets) given to the child by a doctor (usually a psychiatrist at first) to help them to feel better or more in control of their feelings. There should be careful discussion with yourself and your child before medication is prescribed (given) and should ask if you do not understand the pros and cons of taking the medication.

What is..?

If you would like more information about specific mental health problems, click the links below from youth-based charity, Young Minds.

Alternatively, visit our Understanding Mental Health Problems webpage for more links to information and advice about a variety of mental health subjects.

Mental Health Information and Advice
Abuse Anger Issues
Anorexia Nervosa Anxiety
ADHD Autism
Bipolar Disorder Bulimia
Bullying Depression
OCD Phobias
Post-traumatic Stress Psychosis
Schizophrenia Self-harm