We recognise that, alongside family and friends, school networks and professionals are key to identifying and supporting a child/young person's emotional needs. We aim to work alongside school staff, where appropriate, to ensure the child young person feels safe and supported.
CAMHS teams work very closely with schools across the five boroughs. We have a range of mental health support teams, which consist of Clinical Psychologists and Educational Wellbeing Practitioners (EWP).
It is often in schools where difficulties are identified and raised. We aim to work collaboratively with schools to ensure children and young people get the support they need as soon as possible.
If you have concerns about a child or young person's mental health, you can contact your local CAMHS team or ask to speak with the Psychologist linked to the school. We offer regular consultation slots for all school staff for either case consultation or to think about mental health issues more generally in the school. Reflective practice groups for school staff are also offered regularly.
CAMHS Early Help (Trailblazer and Child Wellbeing Practitioner teams) have some helpful videos for parents, teens and school staff on a range of mental health and wellbeing topics.
How to make a referral
If you have concerns about a Child or Young Person's mental health, use our borough pages to contact your local CAMHS team. 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 (if they have one) 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 criteria for a Trust service, they may be able to point you in the direction of useful support services for the young person/ family.
It is not possible to give absolute definitions about which children or young people should be referred to CAMHS. 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.
New referrals are discussed by CAMHS teams at their weekly referrals meetings. Each referral is prioritised according to the information given in the referral.
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 needs 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).
Once a referral has been accepted at CAMHS, we sometimes ask professionals involved in families lives to fill out questionnaires and screening tools. These questionnaires will help us understand families from the professionals' perspective and will support assessment and measure of progress.