Dumfries & Galloway Health & Social Care

CAMHS Referral Information for Professionals

This guidance has been designed for professionals thinking of referring a
child / young person to CAMHS or ISSU18:

There are many local services that help and support young people with their mental health & wellbeing needs. 

School Nursing Service; who provide health & wellbeing support to children and young people aged 5-18 years. 

Low Level Mental Health Support in Schools, youth information workers provide counselling within schools across Dumfries & Galloway to support young people from P6 – S6.

Educational Psychology Service; our role is to apply psychology and research evidence to improve the educational experiences and outcomes for all children and young people.

Barnardo’s Hear4U Advocacy Support in Schools Service this gives children and young people the opportunity to speak to someone independent about their worries or uncertainties so that they can get some support on how to overcome them in a positive way.

Youth Work Services Live Blether Chat: you can chat to a youth worker online about anything that is on your mind or bothering you.

Before Making a
Referral to CAMHS?

  1. Remember that CAMHS is specialist provision offering a service for children and young people who are experiencing persistent, complex or severe mental health difficulties.
  2. While some children and young people will need to come straight to CAMHS i.e. those requiring urgent mental health care, most will require this service when an intervention within School Nursing, Low Level Mental Health Support in Schools, Education or a community-based service has not been enough.
  3. Ensure you have consent for making the referral.

Some of the reasons you might refer a child/young person :

  • Anxiety
  • Panic Disorders
  • Depression
  • Phobias
  • Eating Disorders (e.g. anorexia / bulimia)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychosis
  • Self Harming (e.g. overdoses, cutting, hanging, burning)
  • ADHD
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder with evidence of Mental Health
  • Substance misuse issues with or without mental health difficulties.

Referrals to our Service are considered Urgent if there are:

  1. Concerns that a child / young person is actively suicidal.
  2. Concerns that a child / young person has an acute psychosis.
  3. Concerns that a child/young person had rapid weight loss and / or significantly underweight for their age and stage of development and or presents with serious medical complications associated with an eating disorder.

How to Refer to CAMHS?

National Referral Criteria

Dumfries & Galloway CAMHS Referral Criteria is based on the National Referral Criteria, the length of time, complexity and severity of the child or young person’s presentation.  For more information visit the ISD Scotland website.

What makes a Good Referral?

1. It is important that those referring have met with the parent(s)/carer(s) and the referred child/children and they are in agreement with the referral being made. Referrals need to include basic information such as the name and date of birth of the referred child, current address and current confirmed telephone number/mobile and parental surnames if different to the child’s. Referrers should also indicate who has parental responsibility for the child. If the young person is living alone, how should we contact them for appointments?

2. When making a referral to CAMHS please ensure that you include the information listed below. This will allow us to determine the most suitable course of action in as timely a fashion as possible. Without this information we may be unable to triage the referral:

What are the current mental health concerns? Include: Symptoms, duration, severity, risk, level of associated distress.

*Why seeking help now?

*What else has been tried already and with what outcomes?

*Include: Initial advice given, strategies tried, resources/websites recommended, other services/agencies accessed and what the outcome of these interventions was.

3. What are the specific difficulties that you would like CAMHS to address? Include: What outcomes are hoped for?

4. What is the impact of the difficulties described on the young person’s day to day functioning across settings? Include: Impact on performance at home, school and socially.

5. Any other relevant information about the young person’s circumstances? Include: Any triggers for the difficulties emerging, whether the problem is situation specific or more generalised, any relevant history/family history, current family circumstances, particular risk factors, any statutory measures e.g. Are there any child protection concerns about this child / young person?

6. What protective factors are there? Include: strengths in the family, community supports, young person’s strengths.

7. Is anyone else involved or have other agencies been involved previously? It would be very helpful to let us know who they all are?

8. Are there are any special requirements; e.g. wheelchair access, interpreter?

Mental Health Difficulties Information below for Professionals;

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