CAMHeleon: Good experiences for young mental health inpatients

Here's the shared example

CAMHeleon is a colourful collection and celebration of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS) ward best practice. It showcases a sparkly palette of ideas, articles, quotes, research and resources about therapeutic CAMHS care. There are imaginative efforts by wards throughout the country that are expertly putting the CAMHeleon approach into practice, and this site exists to help get the word out. It focuses on the things that really make a positive difference to young inpatients, identifying small changes that have a big impact. Its overall objective is to support ward staff in enabling young people to really make the most of this time away from their usual lives.

CAMHeleon offers a collection of achievable positive experiences young people can have while in hospital (both with help from others and independently), ways they may take advantage of these and how ward staff can offer support. Its content aims to be highly inspiring and accessible rather than extensive. The ‘COLOURFUL themes’, around which CAMHeleon is structured, aim to help CAMHS teams (along with co-piloting young patients) to create a masterpiece of inpatient care from the wide-ranging compendium of inspiration provided. Each theme reflects both an aspect of happy ward life and an important part of young people’s everyday wellbeing.

Working on a CAMHS ward is one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs in healthcare. It’s also one of the most important, for how this work is put into action shapes in part the unique recovery journeys of the next generation, their breadth of life skills, and their perceptions about themselves and their place in our ever-shifting world.


CAMHeleon is a wonderful source of inspiration, ideas and support for the professionals working with young inpatients. I love how it focuses on manageable, positive things that staff can do to help those in their care. Often, it's the small, consistent acts of kindness and support that make the most difference. I will always remember the healthcare workers that would sit and read magazines with me when I was lonely. As CAMHeleon makes clear, what matters most is the good relationships staff build with each young person and the caring things they do that make them feel better – these were definitely key to my recovery. I really hope all members of staff working within CAMHS inpatient settings will take a look! - See more at:

Nina Martynchyk
Former CAMHS patient, blogger and campaigner - Visit Nina's blog

Population groups: 
Children and young people
People with mental health problems
Posted by...
Nic Higham
Star Wards
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