How to refer to Open Minds (CAMHS)


If you are unsure whether to refer, or if you feel urgent support may be required, then please phone the First Point of Contact on 01422 300 001 during office hours.

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 07984 392700 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 autism referrals is 5 years and above. 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.

3 programmes are currently available:

Space from Anxiety is an online intervention aimed at alleviating psychological distress arising from anxiety related symptoms. This programme has been developed to help young people aged 14 years and over manage these feelings and the causes of them, ultimately offering welcome space from anxiety.

Supporting an Anxious Child and Supporting an Anxious Teen are online interventions based on CBT and built in conjunction with leading clinical experts. The programmes provide psychoeducation, tools and activities in a safe confidential space to help parents support their children or teens.

Silvercloud Leaflet for Young People

Silvercloud Leaflet for School Staff & Professionals


For more information please contact or 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 support while you wait, you can request this here

PROFESSIONALS – The First Point of Contact can also provide guidance and advice for professionals who support young people with mental health needs. You can request this here Professional consultation request.

Illustration of remote therapy session taking place over a video call

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.
  • We would be happy to post you a copy of the referral form that you submitted on request (please call us on 01422 300 001 to ask for this).
  • You are also welcome to phone the First Point of Contact on 01422 300 001 if you’d like an update on the referral.
  • As an alternative to referring on-line you can download a copy of the referral form, complete it and return it to us as an email attachment by following the guidance on the form – do not post it!

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?

All referrals are normally screened for immediate risk on the working day of receipt.

NB – A working day is defined as 9am – 4pm weekdays only (or 9am – 6pm Tuesdays and Wednesday term time only)

Once a referral has been screened for immediate risk, a more detailed triage process of gathering information then takes place in order to make an informed decision about the best way to meet the needs of the young person.

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.

Choice appointments – For referrals where an intervention from Open Minds (CAMHS) would be helpful, families are invited to a Choice assessment. 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.

We may also ask for further information from home and school in order to decide whether a neurodevelopmental assessment for autism or ADHD may be helpful.

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.