young mental healthThree quarters of children and young people who have used child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Wales suggest a negative experience of the service, a survey has found.

The survey of 200 young people found that nearly 75% of CAMHS users said the service they received was slow to respond, and more than half felt it didn’t keep them safe. However, two thirds said they felt the service was friendly and approachable.

People with experience of CAMHS as carers or service users shared their views via an online survey. Children and young people under 25 also took part in schools. 

Mental health charities Hafal, Mental Health Foundation, Bipolar UK, and Diverse Cymru are working with Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People to find out how mental health services in Wales could be improved. 

Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford ordered a review of CAMHS in October last year, after experts said the service was in crisis. 

Following the survey, which is part of a wider consultation that the partnership is holding, a panel of young people with experience of mental health services will examine the findings and make recommendations to improve services for the attention of the minister’s current review of CAMHS. 

Hafal's lead on the consultation, Mike Wood, said: "We are delighted that so many young people including CAMHS users and their carers came forward and responded to our survey. If anybody would like further information about the consultation and the report which we are now preparing, please get in touch.”