A referral is a request from a doctor, school nurse, social worker or family member for CAMHS to see a child or young person and their family.

When might a child be referred?

If you have concerns about your child's mental health and emotional wellbeing, getting advice from a professional can help you to understand whether your child might need specialist support. Either your doctor, your child's school nurse, or their social worker if they have one, are all good places to start; they will ask you about the problems your child is having so that they can advise you on what sort of help is needed. If they think CAMHS are the best people to help, then they will ask for us to see you and your child.

It could also be that somebody else suggests that your child might need extra help, because they've noticed behaviours that cause them concern.

What happens after a child is referred?

When we receive a referral, we will contact you to let you know where your child's first appointment will be, when it is and who they will meet. It’s important to us that when you see us at CAMHS you feel you are able to ask questions about anything that you are unsure of; this might be to better understand what we do as a service, who the different workers are, the treatments or therapies your child is receiving, or what’s going to happen next in your child’s care. We will always be happy to answer your questions; and if our answer isn’t clear to you, then we want you to ask us again.

It is important that you are aware that at the age of 16 your child has a legal right to access our services independently and confidentially. For under 16's there are also some rare situations where your child may access our services without your knowledge. To find out more about confidentiality please click here.

How do I refer a child to CAMHS?

CAMHS is for young people presenting with a moderate to severe mental health difficulty and we therefore need to gather as much information as possible to understand their need and whether their difficulties are having a significant impact upon their day to day functioning.

The more information you are able to provide on the self-referral form, the more likely we are able to accept the referral or signpost you to more appropriate services.