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What is CAHMS?

CAHMS stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.  It is a specialist NHS mental Health Service that aims to assist children and young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties.

There are different ways to get a meeting with CAMHS. The most common is via your GP.

It is also possible for third parties to make referrals to CAHMS such as

Teachers or other school staff Health visitors School nurses Social workers Youth counselling services.

CAMHS are expected to work with children and young people up to the age of 18. However some CAHMS teams will only see young people aged 16-18 if they are in full-time education. Individual services vary, so we recommend you to check with your local service on their position.

If your child is over the age at which their local CAMHS assist, they will probably need to be referred to the adult mental health team, or to support services for older young people.  Check with your GP if you are unsure.

Waiting times vary from area to area so it is a good idea to ask at the outset what the likely time frame may be.

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