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World Mental Health Day 2018

Posted on 10 October 2018 by Helen Robbins


To coincide with World Mental Health Day, we have written a Tourette Syndrome topic guide for the Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH)

ACAMH (The Association of Child and Adolescent Mental Health) is a national charity whose aim is to raise standards in the understanding and management of child mental health issues. Their membership comprises a diverse group of clinicians, practitioners and world-leading child mental health researchers, working across an array of child and adolescent mental health domains.  

Up to 85% of people with Tourette Syndrome (TS) will experience other co-occurring conditions including, ADHD, OCD, anxiety and depression.  In 2018 Tourettes Action carried out a survey about living with Tourettes, and out of 208 respondents, 78% reported that TS has had an effect on their mental health.

Although Tourette Syndrome is a neurological condition, the complex symptoms and features, and impact of associated stigma, puts it on the mental health agenda.

We speak to many families who get referred to CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services), and it would be fair to say that there is a disparity amongst people's experiences.  We hear statements such as: "I was told that CAMHS don’t treat TS" and "CAMHS were useless"; right through to "CAMHS were brilliant" and "I had such a positive experience".

It is widely known that CAMHS is under a lot of pressure, with huge demands on the service and limited resources.  Waiting lists are long and teams vary in their clinical experience and skills when it comes to treating young people with TS.  Yet slowly change is happening.  Publications that inform and educate, such as the recent ACAMH topic guide, presenting to local services around the UK (see the recent news item on the STUCK meeting in Glasgow), training practitioners in behavioural therapy, and funding research into the cause, treatment and management of TS, all combine to make progress.

Tourettes Action remain committed to improving the lives of those living with TS by promoting understanding, supporting research into the cause, treatment and management of TS, and advocating policy change where necessary. 





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