Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is a service that provides assessment, specialist treatment and care for young people up to 18 years of age. It is discussed further in Chapter 7.5.
Get Connected - Developing an Adolescent Friendly Health Service (National Conjoint Child Health Committee, 2002) is a strategy which focused on the health of 12- to 18-year-olds in Ireland. It recommended an adolescent friendly health service, including:
- accessibility: services provided in an appropriate and accessible manner; recommendations related to this include GP registration, free access to primary care, physical accessibility of buildings and involvement of adolescents in service planning
- flexibility in service delivery, particularly in relation to timing and setting 12 Executive Summary
- staff with appropriate skills and training; service planning should take staff training needs into account
- availability of good quality information on services and health issues in appropriate formats
- partnership working, involving adolescents, parents/carers, relevant service providers and a wide range of agencies and government departments.
The strategy described the importance of addressing adolescent health services and its recommendations form the basis for the development of the Adolescent Friendly Assessment Tools.
The Health Service Executive published the Adolescent Friendly Quality Assessment Tools in 2006. It was designed to provide a method for health service providers and planners to assess the quality of services for young people in relation to adolescent friendly quality standards. The tools identify key areas for consideration in reviewing services for 12- to 18-year-olds and are designed to encourage achievable standards in new and existing services.
The Children’s Mental Health Coalition consists of over 70 members, including organisations receiving funding from the Exchequer. Membership is open to organisations and individuals interested in children and young people’s mental health needs. The coalition has advocated for the development of child appropriate mental health services and an end to the admission of children and adolescents to adult wards.