The CAMHeleon Approach


CAMHeleon is here to champion a holistic model of CAMHS inpatient care where:

  • caring relationships, built on shared decision making and mindfulness, always take priority

  • the focus is on young people’s acquisition of recovery skills, like resilience

  • the power of empathy and acceptance is enormous and deeply transformative of both the person receiving them and the person receiving them

  • there's a mindful nurturing of young people's sovereignty, and an honouring of it through empathy and acceptance

  • psychosocial nursing care and family work is a central focus

  • there’s a strong ethos of attachment-awareness

  • young people are supported in their management of their symptoms and treatment

  • young people and/or their loved ones are involved in and understand every decision that affects them

  • pro-social behaviour is modelled and encouraged

  • there’s a strong culture of patient mutual support

  • there’s a noticeable living-learning therapeutic environment

  • patients benefit from a full programme of daily activities, including education

  • educational activities are complementary to the treatment philosophy while clearly seen as a distinct part of it

It does this by…



  • Supporting the voice of young people and their families by reinforcing what’s most important to them while in hospital.

  • Identifying and amplifying the holistic opportunities on offer to a young patient.

  • Offering a ‘one-stop’ repository / knowledge base of CAMHS ward best practice, values and skills.

  • Signposting to other useful resources.

  • Providing further inspiration and validation for the brilliant people who dedicate themselves to the care of our most vulnerable young people.

  • Offering a good balance of theory, experience and practical steps.

  • Providing an ‘at a glance’ summary of the crucial information contained in CAMHeleon.

  • Providing an assortment of supporting research and evidence.

Want to tell others about CAMHeleon and bring it into your setting? Use this ready-made presentation.

The funky graphic below shows how caring relationships are at the heart of every part of life on CAMHS wards, and that each theme is interrelated. Go ahead and click a colour!