Referral Criteria – CAMHS

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services provide mental health services to all children and young people living in Devon and under the age of 18.

We work with young people, their families and other involved services –  schools, GPs, social workers etc. We provide specialist assessment and evidence based interventions for moderate to severe, complex and enduring mental health problems.

Conditions in scope

Requests for support from CAMHS will be considered where children are experiencing the following difficulties:

  • ADHD with associated mental health difficulty
  • Anxiety
  • Attachment disorders
  • Autistic spectrum disorder with associated mental health difficulty
  • Depression
  • Eating disorders
  • Enduring emotional and behavioural problems
  • Mental health problems associated with learning disability
  • Obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Prolonged adjustment disorders (i.e. post traumatic stress disorder or abnormal grief reaction)
  • Psychosis
  • Self harm
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Tourette’s and complex tic disorder

Urgent criteria

  • Symptoms of severe depression with or without suicidal ideation
  • Moderate/severe psychotic symptoms
  • Eating disorders with urgent physical risk
  • Moderate to severe risk of harm to self or others
  • Severe unexplained deterioration in emotional state and behaviour at home and school not thought to be due to drugs, alcohol or physical illness

Exclusion criteria

  • Children and young people who have a ‘normal’ reaction to life events e.g. bereavement/divorce
  • Children and young people whose problems appear to be entirely school-related
  • Children and young people whose parents are in legal dispute about residence/contact etc.

Pre-request activities

Sometimes the difficulties can be supported by a range of interventions across services. We may expect interventions to have been tried before coming to CAMHS, for example support within school, counselling, children’s centres, parenting groups etc.

Please consider whether this is appropriate before making your request and ensure that any supporting information is submitted along with the request so that clinical screening can be expedited.

Documentation required

Please review the list below and ensure that you have the appropriate documentation available to submit with your request (items in bold are mandatory):

Please refer via the Single Point of Access (SPA) process. If the local hospital are referring in for urgent assessment following self harm, the calls will be accepted directly into the locality team.

Location of Centres

We will arrange to see you at a location convenient to you or near to your home, which may or may not be listed below. You should not visit the locations below unless we have sent you an appointment and requested that you do. If you need help please contact us using the number on this page.


Children and Family Health Devon

Single Point of Access Team
1a Capital Court
Bittern Road
Sowton Industrial Estate
Exeter EX2 7FW

t: 0330 0245 321