Getting help from CAHMS

The first step in getting help from CAMHS is usually that you will be referred for a CAMHS assessment. This referral can come from your parents, carers, a teacher, GP or yourself if you are old enough.

If you’re being supported by social care, a youth offending team, or a service at your school, they might also be able to refer you. It’s important to tell the person referring you as much as you can so you can get the help you need. Most local CAMHS teams have a website where you can look up how to get access to their service.

What can I get help with?

CAMHS support covers depression, problems with food and eating, self-harm, abuse, violence or anger, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety among other difficulties.

Who might I see at CAMHS?

There are local NHS CAMHS services around the UK, with teams made up of nurses, therapists, psychologists, child and adolescent psychiatrists (medical doctors specialising in mental health), support workers and social workers, as well as other professionals.

You might also see CYPMHS used which stands for Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services. This is a new term and it includes all the services that might be available to help you as well as CAMHS.

What will happen next?

After you have been referred, you will be put on a waiting list for an initial appointment (often known as an assessment.)

Here are some common questions the CAMHS teams may ask in an assessment:

  • What has brought you to CAMHS?
  • How long have you experienced the problem that has brought you to CAMHS?
  • What would you like to change in your life?
  • What might help tackle the problems you are experiencing?
  • How have you been feeling recently?


Another referral route for young people in need of mental health and wellbeing support in the Cambridge and Peterborough areas is YOUnited. YOUnited offers help to children and young people with their emotional wellbeing and mental health.

It is available to those up to the age of 25 and offers a range of support including therapies, counselling and guided self-help. Referrals can be made to YOUnited by a GP or any professional working with children or young people. Referral information can be found here.

All referrals are triaged and assessed by specialist staff from YOUnited who then work with Young People, as well as their family or carers if necessary, on the best pathway to support their needs.

The YOUnited referral hub only accepts professional referrals.

YOUnited is a partnership involving: Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust, Centre 33, and Ormiston Families.

What to do if a young person is in crisis

If a young person is in mental health crisis contact CPFT’s First Response Service by calling NHS 111 (option 2)

People in Wisbech do not have option 2 but can access the service via dialling 111. The call handler will then transfer them directly to the FRS (First Response Service) service.