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How to Refer a Young Person to CAMHS


CAMHS accepts referrals for children and young people up to their 18th birthday. LD CAMHS (Learning Disabilities) accept referrals for young people with moderate and severe learning disabilities.

Please ring to speak to one of our clinicians if you are unsure whether a case falls within what we are commissioned to provide, or whether other services may be more appropriate in the first instance. In the case of urgent concerns there is a duty professional for each team who can discus and plan an urgent response if required.

Please send written referrals to your local CAMHS base.



Referrals are accepted from any involved professionals; such as social workers, health visitors, school professionals, doctors, and educational psychologists. Please copy the young person's GP into the referral letter to keep them informed.


Referral guidelines for professionals


CAMHS is commissioned to provide for the more severe/complex end of the range of mental health problems, therefore the following information is often useful and allows us to allocate and/or signpost appropriately and avoid any unnecessary delay.


  • Have you met with the parent(s)/carer(s) and referred child/children?
  • Has the referral to our department been discussed and agreed with the parent(s)/carer(s) and referred child/children?


  • Name and date of birth of referred child/young person.
  • Their address and telephone number.
  • Who has parental responsibility?
  • Surname of parent, if different to child/young person.
  • GP details.
  • School, if known/applicable.


  • What are the specific difficulties that you want CAMHS to address?
  • How long has this been a problem and why is the family seeking help now?
  • Is the problem situation specific or more generalised?
  • Your understanding of the problem/issues involved.
  • What has been tried already?
  • How is the concern affecting the young person? What is their opinion about the referral?
  • Your assessment of any risks.
  • How much is the child not able to function normally?


  • Who else is living at home? Details of separated parents if appropriate.
  • Are other professionals involved and in what capacity?
  • Has there been any previous contact with our department?
  • Has there been any previous contact with Social Care? If you have safeguarding/child protection concerns please ensure appropriate referral has been made to social services.
  • Details of any known protective factors.
  • Any relevant history (i.e. family, life events and/or health development factors).

Referral management

Referrals will be read daily and we make decisions about what is 'routine' or 'urgent' based on the information you provide. If you get additional information after a referral has been accepted that makes you believe that a young person cannot wait until their appointment, please contact us. If your referral is not accepted you will be informed in writing and signposted to what we consider to be a more appropriate agency. We may also request further information to help us make a decision.


Please note that mild mental health problems and general wellbeing difficulties are exclusion criteria for CAMHS and there is an expectation that universal and other services provide intervention for these. If we feel changes to the environment in which the child or young person is growing up in are necessary for them to achieve good mental health ('safeguarding'), we expect that other services contribute towards these changes before and/or during the CAMHS intervention.


We do accept referrals for young people with mild learning disabilities if they also have associated moderate/severe mental health problems. We also have a specific CAMHS team for young people who have moderate and severe learning disabilities, please see information on LD CAMHS.

Urgent referrals

If a situation requires a quick response, please contact our Urgent Care Team on 07901330724.

If life is at imminent risk please contact the emergency services.

Referrals to our service are considered urgent if there are:

  • Concerns that a child/young person is suicidal.
  • Concerns that a child/young person has an acute psychosis.
  • Concerns that a child/young person has an acute eating disorder, especially if there is rapid weight loss or worryingly low weight.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss any referral you consider to be urgent but that falls outside of these criteria.


Problems that CAMHS are commissioned to provide a service to: