How to refer to Open Minds (CAMHS)

We are currently experiencing unprecedented numbers of referrals requesting Autism and ADHD assessment. Plans are in place to work through the backlog of referrals and to provide clarity on next steps for families and professionals.

Please be assured that we will contact you as soon as we can. Thank you for your patience.


First Point of Contact – 01422 300 001

Our phonelines are open:
Monday: 8.45-17.00
Tuesday: 8.45-17.00
Wednesday: 8.45-17.00
Thursday: 8.45-17.00
Friday: 8.45-17.00

For out of hours support:

From 5pm – 8pm – Contact 07385 399 840

 Between 8pm to 8am – Contact Night OWLS; a support service available 8pm–8am every day for children, young people, parents and carers across West Yorkshire. Call free on 0800 148 8244 , text on 07984376950 or go to the website to use the online chat function:

Start referral

Non-urgent referrals can be made by following the guidance below. Please note the minimum age for ADHD referrals is 6 years and above.

Are you a professional or are you referring yourself or someone you care for?

I am a professionalI am a young person referring myselfI am a parent/carer referring a young personReferral for SilverCloud Digital Mental Health Support
For young people
Before referring yourself to Open Minds (CAMHS), please click here to read the leaflet about Gillick Competence that has been produced with and for young people in Calderdale. An accompanying video is also available on the Healthy Futures Calderdale YouTube channel:

Silvercloud – Open Minds (CAMHS) is now able to offer access to free on-line support for young people, parents and carers.

Northpoint has worked with Silvercloud and young people from Calderdale to develop digital programmes which are clinically designed to help young people and parents/carers to understand and alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and low mood. This support is free, accessible and involves minimal waits. A ‘Supporter’ from Open Minds (CAMHS) will provide on-line encouragement, guidance and advice and help monitor risk and effectiveness.

In order to benefit from Silvercloud support, young people (aged 14+) or their parents/carers will need access to a device (smartphone, tablet and laptop) and be IT literate. This support is not suitable for young people where there are significant risk concerns.

For more information please visit our Silvercloud Page, or contact / 01422 300 001. We particularly welcome interest from schools.

ASD/ADHD – If your child is on the waiting list for a neurodevelopmental assessment for Autism or ADHD and you would like advice to access resources and services while you wait, please phone 01422 300 001.  You can find out more about our waiting list support here

Further information about referring to the Open Minds (CAMHS):

1. Flowchart

The Calderdale Open Minds (CAMHS) referral flowchart provides an overview of how to make a referral, and what the possible outcomes of a referral might be.

2. The First Point of Contact

The First Point of Contact is the single entry point for all children and young people’s mental health (Open Minds) referrals.

Trained staff are available to offer referral guidance, consultation, support, advice and signposting information.

If referrers are unsure about the suitability of a referral, please phone the First Point of Contact on 01422 300 001 before submitting in order to clarify suitability and ensure young people access the most suitable service at the earliest point.

3. How to refer

Professionals, parents and young people (14-18 years) can refer to using the links at the top of this page – this is our preferred means of receiving a referral, and it is the quickest and safest way of getting the information to us.


  • When you submit the referral you will receive an on-screen message to confirm that your referral has been received
  • We will process the referral as soon as we can and we will contact you and the family to keep you updated
  • Due to information governance and data security the system does not offer the facility for saving partially completed forms
  • For similar reasons, the system does not automatically send you a copy of the referral.
  • If you require a copy of the referral form that you submitted, please request this by calling us on 01422 300 001 or emailing us at
  • If you cannot refer online, please contact us on 01422 300 001 to discuss further.

4. Who can refer?

• Parents and Carers
• Young People (aged 14-18)
• Professionals – anyone who works with children, young people and families (either on a voluntary or paid basis) can refer. This includes school staff.

All referrals are processed in the same way regardless of who submits the form.

It is always best if referrers have met both the young person and or their parents/carers to gain consent and to explain the referral process.

5. When to refer

A referral to Open Minds (CAMHS) should be considered in the following cases:
• Serious deterioration in self-care
• All/most family members highly distressed
• Non-school attendance as a result of mental health presentation
• Serious deterioration in academic attainment related to mental health presentation
• Social withdrawal (e.g. no contact with friends)
• Relations with peers leading to serious risk-taking

Open Minds (CAMHS) also accepts referrals for school aged children and young people where there is a suspected neurodevelopmental difficulty such as autism or ADHD.

6. What makes a good referral?

Use the referral process to tell us about the emotional and mental health issues that the child or young person is experiencing. Its also helpful to know about how they cope with these difficulties, and what their strengths are.

The First Point of Contact staff will be happy to speak to you about any potential referrals on 01422 300 001 and can give guidance on what information is required in order to make a decision about the best support for a young person.

If there is insufficient information contained in the referral form, we will contact the referrer and request further information. Please be aware that this can delay the referral.

7. What happens next?

Please visit our what happens next page for more information:

What happens next? | Open Minds (CAMHS) (

8. Referral outcomes

There are a number of different possible outcomes depending on the individual needs, strengths and wishes of the child/young person and family.

We may also ask for further information from home and school in order to decide which support is most appropriate for the young person.

If it is felt that an intervention with another service is more appropriate for the young person we will speak to the family and provide them with the relevant details. We will put this in writing and copy in the referrer and the GP.

Choice appointments
For referrals where an intervention from Open Minds (CAMHS) would be helpful, families are invited to an initial Choice appointment. The aim of this appointment is to get to know the young person and their family and understand their problems. Sometimes one appointment is sufficient to resolve any difficulties; however, other people may require further sessions.

Depending on the presenting problem, various approaches may be offered following the Choice appointment including; on-line support, signposting to another service, individual therapeutic interventions for a child or young person, family therapy, work with parents or carers, and sometimes medication.