A charity called Christmas for CAMHS would like to raise psychiatrists' awareness of its work. It donates Christmas gifts to young people in inpatient child and adolescent mental health (CAMHS) units throughout the UK every year.
The charity was founded by Dr Rosanna Bevan, who now works for RCPsych in the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health (NCCMH). She founded the charity after working in an inpatient CAMHS unit in 2015.
Dr Bevan saw the disparity between Christmas celebrations in a mental health setting and the children’s hospitals where she had previously worked as a paediatric junior doctor, where hundreds of gifts were donated. There were no donations at all to this CAMHS unit, as is the case with many such units. Her blog post in the BMJ explores why CAMHS units might be forgotten.
Thanks to volunteers and supporters, the charity has grown and now aims to reach every child and young person in an inpatient mental health setting in the UK, with gifts to support recovery, such as colouring books, wellbeing journals, sensory toys, and self-care items.
It also donates gifts for each ward, such as games, books, art supplies and sports equipment, depending on the requests of each ward, and a mental wellbeing advent calendar. It is funded entirely by donations, and the purchasing, packing and distribution of gift consignments depends on a team of volunteers.
If you work in an inpatient CAMHS unit, please check if your ward has submitted your gift requests for this Christmas. If it has not yet done so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back to our November 2021 eNewsletter.