Frequently asked questions

Q. What is Open Minds?

A. Open Minds is the new name for the services previously called CAMHS. CAMHS stands for ‘Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services’. We are commissioned to deliver signposting, advice and “getting help” and “getting more help” services in Calderdale for young people experiencing emotional and mental health problems.

Q. Who provides Open Minds in Calderdale?

A. It is run by Northpoint Wellbeing and the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SWYT), as part of the Open Minds partnership, which is commissioned by Calderdale Council and NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The Open Minds partnership comprises Northpoint Wellbeing, SWYT, Noah’s Ark and other partners.

Q. Who can refer to Open Minds?

Any young person (14+), parent/ carer or professional supporting a family can refer to Open Minds.

Q. How can I refer a child or young person to Open Minds?

A. You can access our online referral form on our How to refer page. The page also provides helpful information about what makes a good referral.

Please note that we no longer accept postal referrals.

Q. Who works in Open Minds?

A. Open Minds is provided by two teams of professionals with a range of training and skills working with children, young people and their families.

  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Nurses
  • Primary mental health workers
  • Family therapists
  • Play and art therapists

Q. Where do Open Minds work?

A. The services are based in offices at Clare Road and Laura Mitchell Health Centre in Halifax. Appointments are offered in these bases and in a wide range of community venues across Calderdale, including children’s centres, colleges, schools and GP surgeries.

Q. What sort of issues can Open Minds help with?

A. Open Minds (Northpoint) helps parents and professionals to address concerns about the emotional or mental health of a child or young person up to age 18. They may become more closely involved if there is evidence that the concern is continuing despite efforts to address it by those who currently know the child.

The remit of Open Minds (SWYT) is the assessment and diagnosis of  conditions such as ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorders, or where the problem is of greater severity, complexity, and duration.

Open Minds (SWYT) works with:

  • Assessment and diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and ADHD
  • Persistent anxiety disorders and phobias
  • Depression
  • Severe emotional disturbance with behaviour problems
  • Eating disorders
  • Problems that may arise following trauma (PTSD)
  • Moderate to severe mental illness arising as a result of bereavement, injuries or serious health problems
  • Suicidal acts and serious threats to the self

Q: My child isn’t old enough to attend school yet, but I have concerns autism / ADHD. Can you help?

A: We would suggest that you talk to your GP about a referral to paediatrics if you would like to explore assessment for autism. The current medical guidelines (NICE) suggest that an assessment for ADHD cannot be considered until a child has reached the age of 6. You may also find it helpful to seek support from other local agencies, including the family support teams.

Q: My child is on the waiting list for an Autism assessment, but they are struggling with their emotional wellbeing. Can you help?

A: We have a dedicated autism waiting list practitioner that can offer short-term support to families on the autism waiting list.

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