Division of Child & Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) Consumer and Carer Information
CAMHS is committed to enabling consumers and carers to be involved in decisions relating to their treatment and to provide input into service planning and improvement. There are a number of opportunities for carers and young people.
CAMHS has a Consumer and Carer Participation Plan
The plan was developed in consultation with consumers and carers, staff and management and represents our commitment to consumer and carer participation.
Consumer and Carer Satisfaction Survey
CAMHS also conducts Consumer and Carer Satisfaction Surveys annually - the last one conducted was in August 2012.
CAMHS Parents and Carers Committee (PACC)
This is a newly formed committee, currently made up of twelve parents and carers. The committee was formed in early 2013. Meeting papers will be uploaded here for your information.
Perinatal and Infant Mental Health and Helen Mayo House
For information on Perinatal and Infant Mental Health, please visit the Helen Mayo House site where some very useful resources are available for consumers and carers.
CAMHS Trauma Information
When a young person experiences a traumatic event, it is often unclear the types of reactions they might display, or how this event might affect them in the longer-term. Many young people will experience some type of reaction following traumatic events, but fortunately, most are resilient and gradually return to their previous functioning over time. However, there are some young people who continue to experience difficulties over time. This page introduces some of the more typical reactions children might display (immediately and long-term) after experiencing a traumatic event, it also provides a guide on when and who to contact.
What is a traumatic event?
Traumatic events are any events that the child subjectively experiences as distressing. These events can be something experienced only by the individual (e.g., being in an accident, witnessing a terrible event) or can be events in which groups of people were involved (e.g., floods, bushfires). Unfortunately, some children experience a number of traumas and the effect may be cumulative making children more vulnerable to stress reactions.
Some of the things that might be traumatic for children include:
How do children perceive the traumatic event?
Research has shown that perceptions of threat may be different for young people and parents when exposed to traumatic events. What an adult perceives as threatening may be very different to a young persons experience. For example, in the context of natural disasters, parents may feel that their life or the life of their child or adolescent was threatened. The young person however, may be much more concerned with being separated from their parents and family during or immediately after the trauma. The fear of separation may continue for weeks or months following trauma depending on the age of the young person and the severity of threat. Further, losses that appear less important to adults (e.g., loss of a pet) may be of profound significance for the young person.
How do young people react to traumatic events?
Parents, teachers and caregivers often want to know how a young person will react to a traumatic event. Unfortunately, there is no way of knowing exactly how each young person will react. Experiences and perceptions of threat may also depend on developmental stages or age of the young person. The young person’s reactions are also dependent on how their parents and other adults, such as teachers, express their reactions after a traumatic event.
Every young person reacts differently to traumatic events
Young people can express trauma reactions in very different ways to adults.
Many young people are resilient and experience only few reactions. Some report feeling more confident or finding other positive changes following trauma.
Some young people may express a lot of different reactions, or one intense reaction immediately following the event, but gradually return to their previous functioning over time.
Some young people express immediate reactions, and these persist over time. Sometimes the reactions can even change over time. Some young people appear resilient at first, but display reactions later on.
Most young people are resilient
One important thing to remember is that many young people are resilient in the face of trauma. Not all young people will develop problems after experiencing a traumatic event. Some will display only a few immediate reactions and others will become more resilient over time, as life starts to go back to normal.
For young people and adults it is normal to experience emotional distress and various behavioural reactions following a traumatic event. Some of these reactions might be adaptive and positive, whereas others may cause the child, family and teachers some difficulty. Trauma reactions are often dynamic, and can present differently at any point in time.
CAMHS and the Support we provide for young people with trauma experiences.
CAMHS is committed to providing equity of access to services and attempts to minimise the barriers for people with trauma experiences to access appropriate services.
As a vital step in your understanding the impacts of trauma, we encourage you to read through some of the trauma information contained within
Please find attached a number of fact sheets below:
For further information or to speak to someone about trauma services provided by CAMHS please contact your regional Child Adolescent Mental Health Service or contact Tim Crowley, Nurse Practitioner, Complex Care and Trauma Mental Health on 7321 4500