Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service


Information for Parents

A child or young person may be referred for the following reasons

  • Behavioural difficulties
  • Emotional difficulties
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
  • Family relationship difficulties
  • Eating Problems and Disorders: Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia
  • Mood Disorders: Depression, Bipolar Mood Disorder
  • Autism and Asperger's Syndrome (Diagnosis only)

Info for Parents


A Vision for Change

In 2006 the Government published a report of the expert group on mental health policy. This report is called A Vision for Change. One of the recommendations of this report is that mental health services for children should be provided by multidisciplinary teams. In effect this means that each team is made up of clinicians from different disciplines who all work together to provide a range of therapeutic interventions for each child. Usually a Multidisciplinary Team is made up of the clinicians in the following areas:

1. Consultant Psychiatrist
2. Psychiatrist in training.
3. Nurse
4. Psychologist
5. Social Worker
6. Occupational Therapist
7. Speech and Language Therapist
8. Social Care Worker.

Click on the links to read more information about each discipline in Lucena Clinic.
You can also read the full text of A Vision for Change


Young Children

Information for young children

Growing up can be fun but tricky. Sometimes people need to talk to a grown up to help figure out a problem. It’s good to talk about worrying things so we can better understand our feelings and how we act.



Young Children

Information for Teenagers


Adolescence is an important time of physical, social, emotional and educational development. It can be exciting but confusing. Sometimes it can feel like we don't have any control over what we think or how we feel. But by making simple changes to our lives, we can make a real difference.


History of Lucena Clinic

St. John of God

Lucena was the name of the house and the first hospital which St. John of God opened in 1537 in the city of Granada, Spain. To honour the 5th centenary of the birth of St. John of God in 1495, the Order renamed its Child and Adolescent Mental Health services as Lucena Clinic Services.


The Order wishes to extend the same hospitality shown by John to everyone who came seeking help, healing or shelter at his house on Lucena Street, to every child and family coming to any of the clinics at Rathgar; Tallaght; Dun Laoghaire, Bray and Wickow.


About Us

Lucena Clinics

St. John of God Community Services Limited

Lucena Clinic Services is the Child and Adolescent Mental Health service of St. John of God Community Services Limited. Lucena Clinic Services is a registered charity and has been providing a mental health service to children and adolescents and their families for over 50 years.


The Lucena Clinic services are delivered via our 5  clinics in

 Rathgar  - tel :              (01) 492 3596

 Tallaght  - tel :              (01) 452 6333

 Dun Laoghaire -  tel;    (01) 280 9809

 Bray  - tel :                   (01) 286 6886

 Wicklow - tel :              0404 25591


 If you are trying to contact ST. PETER'S SCHOOL  please visit their website. St. Peter's School   or

 ring their DIRECT LINE : 01 4999300 Please do not ring Lucena Clinic as we cannot transfer your call. 




Information for parents, guardians and teachers.

A Child may experience psychological challenges at any point in his/her development. These difficulties may be expressed by the child in a variety of ways including emotional distress, behavioural difficulties or a mixture of the two. Lucena Clinic can help you and your child. Lucena Clinic is free, but you need a medical referral to attend.



Commonly this is passing phase for a child. Often when parents becomes aware that there is an issue for their child and address the underlying cause this is enough to contain the problem. In a minority of cases, however, parents may become aware that the problem is continuing despite their best efforts and is causing ongoing issues for the child and often the family as a whole. In circumstances where there is ongoing distress, emotional upset, behavioural problems and associated impairment for the child, it is often very useful to talk to the child’s GP about whether an assessment in the clinic might be helpful.

How is a child referred to the Clinic? - click to watch video

As a Specialist mental Health Clinic, we require a GP or other medical referral (Paediatrician, Area Medical officer). In order to make a referral the doctor must first seen and assess the child to consider whether referral might be helpful. Typically a doctor will advise that a child is referred when significant concerns have been raised regarding a child’s psychological well-being. If a Teacher or Social Worker is concerned about a child, he/she should recommend to the parent that the child be brought to a GP so a decision can be reached as to the need for referral to a CAMHS clinic.



What sorts of mental health difficulties can the Clinic assess and treat? 

In order for us to be in a position to provide the necessary help for a child, the difficulties the child presents with must fall within the expertise of the clinical staff. As a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHs), we are a specialist service and have expertise in diagnosing and treating the following:

  • ADHD
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Depression
  • Bipolar/Schizophrenia Disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Eating Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorders.


What services does the clinic not provide?

  • Treatment programmes for children with Autism: The clinic does not provide treatment programmes for children with Autism, Children who are diagnosed as having Autism are referred to another service.

  • Educational Psychological Assessments: The Clinic does not provide educational psychological assessments. This service is provided by the National Educational Psychological Service (N.E.P.S.). This service has to be accessed by the parent through the child's school principal.

  • Speech and Language and Occupational Therapy Assessments: We do not provide Speech and Language or Occupational Therapy assessments or treatment for children who do not also have emotional or behavioural difficulties.

  • Assessments for the purpose of advising in Custody and Access Disputes.



What happens once the referral is received by the Clinic? - click for video

Typically when a referral is received, it is reviewed to determine whether the child may be assessed here. If it appears likely that assessment here will be helpful, a child’s name will be added to the waiting list. Prior to an appointment being offered, consent forms will be sent to parents/guardians. This is necessary based on the current interpretation of the law for children up to the age of 18. Parents may also be asked to complete questionnaires regarding their child in advance of the assessment. In addition parents may be asked to request that the child’s teacher complete a questionnaire in relation to their child.

What does the first assessment consist of? - click for video

The first assessment will involve one or more clinicians together with the child and both parents/guardians. The first assessment typically involves a ‘clinical interview’ with parents and child which may take up to 2-3 hours. The child or young person may be seen on their own for a portion of that time, depending on the child’s age, presentation and the issues being explored. We help families and young people by firstly understanding the nature of the underlying difficulty through assessment and diagnosis. Parents typically find this first step of having a greater understanding of the issues a significant help. Following the assessment, parents will be advised about the next steps which may include further assessment and treatment. Once there is a clear understanding as to the nature of the child’s difficulties we will plan treatment which will be targeted to improve specific aspects of the child’s difficulties as agreed by parents, child and clinicians. The ‘treatment plan’ agreed will be based on the individual needs of the child in the context of available resources.


What Treatments may be available?

Treatment may include:

  • Cognitive Behavioural therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Medication
  • Occupational therapy
  • Parenting Courses
  • Supportive Therapy
  • Speech and Language Therapy

Lucena Clinic

Founded in 1955


Lucena Clinic Rathgar

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The safety, welfare and development of children and young people are key priorities 

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