Please read the basic eligibility criteria and referral guidance below before submitting a referral.
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) provide mental health assessment and treatment for children, young people and their families living in the boroughs of Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham and Hounslow up to their 18th birthday.
The services are made up of multidisciplinary teams of child and adolescent psychiatrists, psychotherapists, family therapists, psychologists, nurses, primary mental health workers and allied health professionals.
CAMHS accept referrals of children with severe or complex emotional, behavioural and mental health difficulties for assessment and treatment, as appropriate, and also provide consultation to professionals.
Services are offered to children and young people with:
- Symptoms at the point of referral which suggest major mental illness and other psychiatric disorders, such as psychosis, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, eating disorders, that is, those with an identifiable mental illness
- Complex neurodevelopment and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), autistic spectrum disorders, Tourette’s syndrome, tic disorders, co-morbid epilepsy, complex cases with co-morbid developmental disorders for specific neuropharmacological intervention, or who require a multi-disciplinary assessment or treatment, as opposed to having less complex developmental problems
- Severe emotional difficulties and severe functional impairment arising from child abuse and/or neglect. They’re also likely to have severe attachment disorders, complex care and parenting needs, and to be ‘looked after’
- Complex conduct disorder or oppositional defiance disorder with an additional mental health disorder requiring treatment as part of a co-ordinated multi agency package of care
- Inpatient needs: those who’re being cared for in a general hospital setting (inpatient and outpatient) and require specialist mental health services, for example, those admitted with self-harm, those with chronic illness, such as asthma, HIV, terminal cancer, diabetes, who need to be cared for in a biological, psychological and social model.
These are some of the problems that are not regarded as first line work of the specialist CAMHS team, but would be considered in instances when, despite the involvement of other professionals and agencies, specialist mental health input still appears to be indicated:
- Isolated anger outbursts
- Oppositional and/or defiant behaviour
- Feeding problems
- Sleep problems
- Difficulties presenting exclusively in a school setting
- Soiling and wetting.
Children and young people presenting with emotional difficulties, such as bereavement, divorce, truancy, life adjustment difficulties, learning difficulties and parenting problems with no associated mental illness are not usually appropriate for Tier 3 services. In some cases, prior consultation with the duty worker may be useful to clarify whether a referral is appropriate. Alternative agencies may be recommended where necessary or possible.
Referrals are accepted from a number of professionals, including:
- Social workers
- Health professionals, including paediatricians, school nurses and health visitors
- Adult mental health services
- Schools, via the educational psychologist, special educational needs co-ordinator (SENCO), or behaviour support team
- Tier 2 multi-agency teams.
Referrals should be made online using the CAMHS referral form.
It’s essential that the form is completed with as much detail as possible and that the person with parental responsibility consents to the referral, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
A duty worker is available from Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm to discuss potential referrals on 020 8483 1979.
Consultation can be provided rather than direct assessment or intervention for cases where a mental health perspective will complement work already in progress, or where there’s is professional anxiety or uncertainty as to whether referral to specialist CAMHS is appropriate.
Processing of referrals
All referrals will be screened for appropriateness and urgency, at which point factors such as severity, duration, complexity, likelihood of response to available treatments, and likelihood of engagement may be considered. Further information may be sought from a referrer or family, if necessary.