Introduction to CAMHS

This page, provides information about Renfrewshire's Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) including what to expect and resources for children and young people and parents and cares.

  • Welcome to Renfrewshire CAMHS
  • Being referred to CAMHS
  • How do I get help from CAMHS?
  • Coming to CAMHS
  • Resources
  • How do I make a complaint?
  • Feedback

Welcome to Renfrewshire CAMHS

Renfrewshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is provided by a multidisciplinary team.  This means that the team is made up of different professionals who have different training. This includes: 

  • Mental health nurses 
  • Psychologists 
  • Psychiatrists 
  • Art Therapists 
  • Doctors 
  • Speech and language therapists 
  • Occupational therapists 
  • Advance Nurse Practitioners 
  • Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists 
  • Family therapists 
  • Support workers 

What we do

CAMHS professionals work with children, young people and families to support those struggling with moderate to severe mental health difficulties. 

What can we help you with?

CAMHS is part of a wider system to help and support children and young people's mental health.  The system includes the child or young person's family, school, other health services and wider community. 

How do I get help for my mental health?

If you need to talk to someone at CAMHS, you can ask for help through a referral. This can come from your school, doctor, someone who helps families (like a social worker), or another health expert. It's important to tell the person referring you everything you can so they know how to help you. If you're 12 or older, it's also important for you to agree to be referred to CAMHS.

Being referred for mental health support

Sometimes, when children or young people need help with their feelings, there are different levels of support. Most can get help at Tier 1 or Tier 2. But a few might need extra-special help from a Tier 3 team who are experts in mental health.

Tier 1: Early intervention and prevention, provided by schools, children's centres, health visitors or school nursing

Tier 2: Support provided by a mental health professional - i.e. counsellor 

Tier 3: Specialised service provided by CAMHS 

Tier 4: Highly specialised service and inpatient care 

Urgent help

Referring professionals can discuss an urgent referral during office hours (9-5pm) Renfrewshire CAMHS on 0141 886 5921 or 0141 314 8981 and ask for the duty clinician.  If you require help with an urgent issue outside of these times then contact NHS 24 on 111

If there is an immediate threat to life call 999

Coming to CAMHS

What to expect at my first appointment

Your first appointment with CAMHS is called a 'choice' appointment, and it usually takes about an hour. During this time, you'll talk about your life and any issues you're facing. Together, with a clinician we will make a plan. If they think CAMHS can help, you'll talk about what that might include.

If you're younger than 16, a parent or someone who takes care of you will come with you. But if you want, it's okay for them to wait in the waiting room. Your appointment is a safe space to talk. 

Will you tell my parents or school?

During your appointment, we might ask if it's okay to share important information with your doctor, school, or the person who takes care of you. Confidentiality means we won't tell anyone else about what we talk about unless you say it's okay.

CAMHS needs to follow some rules about keeping children safe, so if we are worried about you or someone else being in danger, we might need to discuss our concerns with your GP, parents and social work to keep everyone safe. 

What might happen after your appointment

After your Choice appointment, we'll figure out the best way to help you. Here are a couple of possibilities:

1.  Getting help from CAMHS: If CAMHS thinks you need their help and if you agree you need support from them, you'll be put on a waiting list for support and treatment and they will talk to you about your individual plan. You may need to wait a little while for treatment to start. 

2. Exploring other options: It might be decided that specialist support from CAMHS isn't the right fit for you. In this case, we might think there's another service that's a better match. We'll talk to you about it, provide information, and, if needed, refer you to the right services. There are many supportive services and groups in the community that you might not be aware of.

We'll send you a letter and share it with the person who referred you to CAMHS, and anyone else you feel should know. The letter will remind you of what we discussed, any advice we gave you, and the resources we suggested.

Remember, we'll always encourage you to keep talking about how you're feeling after the appointment, with people you trust. This could be family, friends, teachers, community group leaders, or helplines.

Check out the list at the bottom of this page for some helpful resources

Below are some videos which explains to young people and parents / carers what to expect from your appointment. 

CAMHS Information for Children & Young PeopleCAMHS - Information for Children and Young People - YouTube

CAMHS Information for Parents & CarersCAMHS - Information for Parents & Carers - YouTube


Support for children and young people 

Schools in Renfrewshire provide access to Counselling Services as well as other services such as Home Link and Nurture Groups. The school nurse services provides access to early intervention mental health support for anxiety.

The Ren10 service provides access to a range of mental health supports and services. 

Text 'REN10' to 85258

Using the Exchange service, you can ask to speak to a counsellor or you can contact them directly for an appointment. 

Renfrewshire Youth Health & Wellbeing Service

Our Youth Health and Wellbeing Service provides confidential advice and information to young people aged 12-17 in Renfrewshire. Operating a drop-in service one evening a week for young people to ask health questions and have them answered by health professionals.

School nursing service provides support for all school children in mainstream education.  School nurses will work with you and other agencies to plan appropriate and targeted care.

They receive referrals either directly from parents, young people themselves, education services or your GP. You can contact them 0141 314 4649 (8.30am to 4.30pm)

The NHSGGC Kids website has information and support to help children and young people leave meaningful, healthy, independent lives. The website provides information from NHS staff to young people, families and professionals.

Togetherall is a safe, anonymous, online community to support your mental health. 

FREE to all aged 16-24 in Renfrewshire 

Childline - counselling service for children and young people up to their 19th birthday


Get help and advice about a wide range of issues, call us on 0800 1111, talk to a counsellor online, send Childline an email or post on the message boards.

Renfrewshire Adolescent Drug & Alcohol Resource (RADAR)

Referrals are welcome by phone or in person from you, your family, school, GP, or any other agency working with you. You can also contact us for a referral form to complete and submit from home.

Back Sneddon Centre
20 Back Sneddon Street

Free courses on wellbeing and mental health

These free courses from SilverCloud that can help you boost your wellbeing and mental health. They can help with sleep, stress, resilience and body image. 

You can find out more about the courses available here and sign up for free using the code nhsggc.

SHOUT is a 24/7 text service where anyone, of any age, can text if they are struggling to cope or need mental health support. This service is free and confidential from all major UK networks.

SHOUT aims to respond within 5 minutes to support anyone in immediate distress.

Texting 'SHOUT' to 85258  is anonymous and will not  show up on your phone bill. 

Young Minds also has a website with lots of information for young people.

Text Young Minds Crisis Messenger by sending YM to 85258. The service is open 24/7. They also offer support for parents. You can visit their website or call them on 0808 802 5544.

Young Scot support for 11+

Young Scot Aye Feel website has lots of information for 11-26 year olds in Scotland on a range of areas including mental health, relationships and children's rights. 

PAPYRUS provide confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide and anyone worried about a young person. Call them on 0800 068 4141.

Support for parent and carers 

Sometimes parents need some extra support. You might need some help to improve you or your child's mental health & wellbeing.

Free courses on wellbeing and mental health

These free courses from NHS Scotland and SilverCloud can help you boost your wellbeing and mental health, and support your children too. There are programs on sleep, stress, resilience, body image and money worries as well as programs to help you support an anxious child or teen.

You can find out more about the courses available here and sign up for free using the code Scotland2020.

Parents - REN10 For information regarding developing parenting strategies, approaches and for extra support.

Children 1st Parentline

Children 1st Parentline is there for families - offering free emotional and practical help with anything that affects families on the phone, or by webchat. Parents or carers can talk things through with Children 1st on the phone: 0800 028 2233 or online using the webchat.

Parent Club 

A national resource for parents and carers. Offering tips and advice for all the challenges that family life throws up, from experts and parents and carers who've been there before.

Parent Club - For Baby Box And All Your Parenting Needs 

How do I make a complaint?

If you are unhappy about your care, the care of a relative or about any aspect of our services we would encourage you to initially try to speak to the member of staff who is working with you about your concerns. They may be able to resolve your concerns straight away.

If you are unable to resolve your concerns then please visit the below website for details on how to make a complaint.

Specialist Children's Services, including CAMHS, in NHSGGC are hosted by East Dunbartonshire HSCP. Please refer to their complaints handing guidance: 

Health and Social Care Complaints | East Dunbartonshire Council 

Equality statement

We are committed to providing services that are accessible to everyone. Different people have different needs and we will always do whatever we can to make sure that these needs are met.

Service Evaluation Survey

Contact details 

CAMHS Aranthrue Centre
103 Paisley Road

Tel: 0141 314 8981

Monday to Friday 9am-5pm



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