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South Cumbria Pupil Referral Unit
16 Jul 2018

CAMHS – Young Ambassadors

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Child and Adolescent Mental Health

This week (16th – 20th July) pupils will be taking part in a Young Ambassador Workshop. This is where they will have the opportunity to give feedback, generate ideas and be a lead in the Mental Health Service that our young people are currently using. The service they will be working with is CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services). CAMHS are the NHS services that assess and treat young people with emotional & mental health difficulties. The aim of the workshop is to find Young Ambassadors that would become the voice of children and young people in CAMHS.


CAMHS work with young people with more complex, moderate to severe difficulties.  CAMHS support covers: depression; problems with food; self-harm; panic; anxiety; psychosis; poor concentration and compulsions to name a few.

There are 3 local NHS CAMHS services in the county. The teams include: nurses; therapists; psychologists; support workers; social workers & psychiatrists, as well as other professionals. Parents, teachers or a GP can refer young people for an assessment with CAMHS to see what help they can get.


We are thinking about a number of ways for young people to support and work with CAMHS in the design and development of the service. Firstly, the Youth Sport Trust (YST) – Young Ambassadors YST. Young Ambassadors is designed to build the leadership skills of young people and as a result they are empowered to take on the following roles:

Be the youth voice for PE and school sport in their school and community

Promote the positive values of sport

Be a role model and champion for PE and school sport

Increase participation opportunities and healthy lifestyles for everyone


Secondly, British Youth Council – UK: The Young Ambassadors are a team of 12 elected young people aged 18-25 representing the four nations of the UK.  The UK Young Ambassadors work in partnership with the Northern Ireland Youth Forum, Scottish Youth Parliament and youth organisations in Wales to deliver a strong voice from the Nations.

They represent UK youth at international forums and events ensuring the voices of young people are heard. Before major events, the Young Ambassadors run large consultations throughout the UK and online.

There are four main ways that the Young Ambassadors represent young people internationally:  through Structured Dialogue; the European Youth Forum; the Commonwealth Youth Council and ad hoc fora, conferences and events.


Thirdly, Action for Children –Young Ambassadors. Young Ambassadors are regularly involved in staff recruitment and selection: ‘it’s worthwhile and every service should do it for the self-confidence of young people involved but also for the confidence they’ll have in the staff and the service in the future.’

The workshop will involve the young people discussing:

  • What do you think could be the purpose of a Young Ambassador in CAMHS?
  • What do you think the role could involve?
  • Would the role require training?
  • Do you think ongoing support would be required – if so what?
  • What would make you want to be part of such a scheme?
  • Do you think a Young Ambassador Scheme for CAMHS is something that is a good idea?

The pupils will complete a (anonymous) questionnaire and this information will be fed back to CAMHs; if any young person wants to be more involved, we can create the opportunity for this involvement in September.

Please take a look at the Powerpoint and questionnaire that the pupils will see and fill out.