Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)

What Does Our Service Do?

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is a specialist service offering mental health assessment and intervention to children and young people (up to the age of 18 years) who need more help with their mental health.

About our services

CAMHS is made up of a number of specialist outpatient teams, who work with children, young people and their families in the community. The teams are multi-disciplinary, made up of staff from a variety of different professional backgrounds, who are specialists in mental health, including nurses, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, social workers and psychotherapists. The service also includes peer mentors and those with lived experience of mental health services. Each team is supported by a dedicated admin team.

Referral criteria

How to Refer

Referral into Community CAMHS is via The Children and Young People’s Triage and Navigation Service provided by DHU Healthcare:

The Children and Young People’s Triage and Navigation Service aims to ensure that children and young people can access the most appropriate service to meet their emotional, behavioural or mental health needs, including requests for neurodevelopmental assessments. This service offers a stepped approach to mental health support and therefore signposting to self-help resources, voluntary, or ICB commissioned services may be the most appropriate recommendation.

All referrals are reviewed by an experienced mental health clinician who will triage the referral based on the information provided in the referral form. This service aims to triage referrals in a timely manner. Please note this service is not commissioned to triage referrals that require urgent, crisis intervention.

The current referral pathways into the Children and Young People’s Triage and Navigation Service is via a PRISM referral from the following professionals:

  • GP
  • Social Workers
  • Community Paediatrics
  • School nurses
  • Mental Health Support Team in Schools – MHST

The Children and Young People’s Triage and Navigation Service also offers a self referral website for children and people to access emotional and mental health support and information regarding access to other services. The self-referral website aims to promote accessibility, empowerment and self-care, however the child or young person may complete a self-referral if they feel their needs can not be met via the support and resources offered on the website. Please note the self-referral service is not appropriate for children and young people that require urgent / crisis intervention or requests for neurodevelopmental assessments.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Autistic Spectrum Disorder referrals:

Please be mindful CAMHS can only accept Neurodevelopmental Assessment referrals for secondary school aged children. All referrals for assessment of ADHD and / or ASD will require a GP referral, however to help us understand your child / young person’s needs, we require some detailed information about their difficulties at home and at school. This information will help us both to process the referral into the service and aid the assessment process.

The completed school and parent forms (please see forms below) will need to be taken to your GP appointment where you can discuss if a referral for further assessment of ADHD and / or ASD is indicated. On receipt of the referral form and fully completed parent and school forms, CAMHS will screen these to assess whether further assessment for either disorder is indicated.

Referral Forms:

We believe the best approach for referral into the service is for schools and parents to work together to complete the referral pack. Professionals working with families, children and young people in situations where this is not possible are encouraged to contact us for advice before referring (for example; if the child is not currently in school).

Criteria exclusion

Criteria Exclusion Difficulties associated with an ordinary reaction to recent life events, e.g. separation, divorce, bereavement, post abuse unless PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), complex bereavement or associated with a mental health problem. CAMHS will not mediate residence and contact arrangements The impact of a child / young person’s difficulties presentations do not pose significant difficulty/distress in terms of everyday home life, friendships, classroom learning and leisure activities Anxiety presentation in relation to school only (Please contact school pastoral support/ Mental Health Support Teams in schools) Any child protection / safeguarding issues need to be immediately raised by the referrer with the Local Authority (LA) ensuring the safeguarding policy & procedures are adhered to by the referrer. The referrer must raise any such concerns directly with the LA, independently of any referral to CAMHS. *Exceptions to Inclusion/ and exclusion criteria for specific specialist teams are included within each individual service section. All referrals into Specialist CAMHS will be considered where there is evidence of complexity, co-morbidity, pervasive or chronicity or that a highly trained specialist professional is required to enable change to a specific mental health presentation.

How to access this service

How can you access our services?

What conditions do you cover

  • Mood Disorders
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Eating Disorders
  • Self-Harm associated with any of the above presentations.
  • Diagnostic assessment and management of Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and associated comorbidities in children and young people aged 11 years and above. Children who are open to paediatricians where assessment has started should be referred there to prevent duplication of work.
  • School Refusal or severe behaviour problems – ONLY where there are significant co-morbid mental health concerns listed above.

Contact info

See locations tab for contact details for each service.

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