How to refer to OPEN MINDS (CAMHS)

Non-urgent referrals can be made by following the guidance below.


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. If you have an urgent query out of hours please contact 01924 316830.

In the event of an emergency please call NHS 111.

Start referral

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

I am a professional

I am a young person referring myself

I am a parent/carer referring a young person

Please be aware that you may find difficulties opening the

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If a child is awaiting an autism assessment and you would like support, you can request this at Support for families of school aged children on the ASD waiting list

The First Point of Contact can also provide consultation to help and support other professionals working with complex cases. You can request this support at a time that’s convenient to you at Professional consultation request .

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

1. Flowchart

The Calderdale Open Minds  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.

The First Point of Contact has qualified clinical mental health practitioners available to speak to professionals. They can offer referral guidance, consultation, support, advice and signposting information.

Where referrers are unsure about the suitability of a referral they are encouraged to phone the First Point of Contact on 01422 300 001 before submitting, to clarify suitability and ensure that young people are able to 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.


Please note:

  • 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 new system does not offer the facility for saving partially completed forms
  • For similar reasons, the system doesn’t automatically send you a copy of the referral.
  • We would be happy to post you a copy of the referral information on request (please call us on 01422 300 001).
  • 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 you can download a copy of the referral form, complete it and return it to us as an email attachment – do not post it!

4. Who can refer?

• Parents

• Young People (aged 14-18)

• Professionals – anyone who works with children, young people and families (either on a voluntary or paid basis) can refer including:
• School professionals (normally SENCOs and school nurses)
• GPs, paediatricians and other health workers e.g. public health nurse (school nursing), health visitor
• Educational psychologists and education welfare officers
• Social workers
• Lifeline/Branching Out, MST and YOT
• Family services such as Family Support and FIT
• Therapeutic services such as Noah’s Ark

It’s always best if referrers have met both the young person and their parents/carers to gain consent and explain the referral process. This will increase engagement with young people and their families.

5. When to refer

A referral 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

6. What makes a good referral?

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 by at least one clinician.

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

Choice appointments – For referrals where an intervention would be helpful, families are invited to a Choice appointment. The family will normally be sent a letter asking them to contact the First Point of Contact to make a ‘Choice’ assessment appointment, which will normally last for up to an hour and a half. The aim of this appointment is to get to know the young person and their family and understand their problems. They will then be offered the most appropriate level of support or therapy. Sometimes one appointment is sufficient to resolve difficulties; however, other people may require further sessions.

Depending on the presenting problem, various approaches may be offered following the Choice appointment including; individual therapy for a child or young person, family therapy, work with parents or carers, and sometimes medication. Where appropriate, we will signpost families to other agencies.

If it is felt that an intervention with our service is not the most appropriate support for a young person we will always write to the referrer and family to explain the reason and to feed back our recommendations.

We are part of the Open Minds Partnership. You can find out more information about how the Partnership can support children, young people and families at