We recognise that there are many people in a child or young person's life who can be extremely important, supportive and influential. We work with other professionals in a young person's life (with young person/family consent) to support information sharing, safety and improvements in the child/young person's mental health.

How do I make a referral?

If you have concerns about a child or young person's mental health, contact your local CAMHS. It is useful to have certain key information when making a referral, including:

  • The full name(s) of the child or young person being referred
  • The surname of their parent/carer if different from the child or young person
  • Date of birth and address, including postcode
  • Telephone numbers- for young people aged over 16 this should include a mobile phone number so that CAMHS can contact them directly (if appropriate)
  • Names and ages of family members
  • Name of school
  • Name of registered GP
  • Other agencies known to be involved (e.g. Connexions, education, social services)
  • Significant medical problems/medication
  • A brief history of presenting problems, with your opinion of the effect these have on the child and their mental health and his/her family members
  • An indication of your opinion of the degree of risk to self or others and to what degree the problem is affecting everyday life for the individual and family

Even if a referral does not meet the threshold for support from a Trust service, they may be able to point you in the direction of useful support services for the young person/ family.


What happens after the referral has been made?

New referrals are discussed by CAMHS teams at their weekly referrals meetings and referrals prioritised according to the information provided (e.g. severity, impact on functioning, risk level).

The family and referrer are then contacted with information, either about an appointment or alternative next steps. A CAMHS worker may contact you for further information, or to think with you about the best way of engaging the family in an assessment.

If a family or young person's problems worsen whilst you are waiting to hear the outcome from a referral, contact the CAMHS team and provide them with an update. In cases where someone's safety may be at risk, either as a result of self-harm, potential harm to others or child protection issues, please contact the relevant agency immediately and directly (for example, accident and emergency (A&E), police, social care).

Screening and outcome questionnaires

We often ask professionals involved to fill out screening questionnaires or 'Routine Outcome Measures'. These questionnaires will help us understand families from the professionals' perspective.

Emergency referral

Referral criteria

CAMHS supports children, young people and families whose social, emotional and behavioural needs are not met by universal services, such as those in the community and primary care. There are different levels of intervention dependent on the child's/young person's need, and we will help you to identify the right service.