Our crisis services help people who are experiencing acute mental health distress. These services have faced rising demand due to the pandemic. Our Acute Referral Centre runs a 24/7 crisis line, managing referrals to our hospitals. Home Treatment provide vital support to patients in the community. Our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) provides the largest range of National and Specialist services in England, services which are not provided elsewhere. During the pandemic, they successfully set up a new mental health A&E for young people.
"We’ve remained a face-to-face service that visits people in their homes. Of course, we’ve had to take extra precautions with PPE and social distancing. During the pandemic there have been lots of new service users - people who have never been in a mental health crisis before. Some people have become very isolated or anxious due to the impact of Covid-19." Nicola Cotton, Clinical Service Lead for Southwark Home Treatment team
"When the pandemic started in March 2020, we were worried about how difficult it would be for young people. We wanted to make the CAMHS crisis line available quickly and safely. We’ve had lots of phone calls from children but even more from parents who were worried about their children." Mandy Wait, Service Manager for CAMHS Central Crisis Teams
"The only thing that changed about our team was the amount of clothing we wore! Sometimes we had to wear gloves, aprons, masks and face shields but we still went and visited young people who were in crisis. We visited them at home and in open spaces like parks." Jane Kiernan, Team Leader, CAMHS response team