A child’s GP usually makes the referral, but it can also come from school, a health visitor, or a youth or social worker. Self-referrals, by you or the young person, may also be accepted. Look on the website or call to see if this is an option in your area. But make sure that only one referral is made, to avoid extra delay and confusion.
Depending on your child’s age, state of mind and the nature of the concerns, you can discuss the referral with the GP, or your child could see them with you or alone.
Some areas use a Single Point of Access (SPA) system to process all mental health and emotional wellbeing referrals. Some referrals may be directed to other services such as Early Help (local authority early intervention support for young people and families), for instance if an issue is deemed mild or emerging.
CAMHS services are divided into tiers, with thresholds to determine access, and these may be referred to in your communication with them. Early intervention services are tier two, while specialist support for more complex issues is tier three. Contact has more information about CAMHS tiers.