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A guide to mental health services in England

CAMHS information for parents and carers

If you are worried about a child or need advice and support for coping with anything affecting your child's emotional or mental health, there are different ways to seek help.

On NHS Choices you can look up services that provide mental health support for young people. For more general advice see our youth mental health hub, which offers information about mental health problems tailored to young people.

Lots of general advice and support can also be found online such as:


YoungMinds offers free confidential online and telephone support to anyone worried about the emotional and mental wellbeing of a child or young person up to the age of 25.

  • call the free parents' helpine on 0808 802 5544 from 9.30am-4pm, Monday to Friday
  • email and YoungMinds will respond to your query within three working days

The charity has also put together online information for parents and carers about mental health services for children and young people.


MindEd is an online e-portal offering free, simple advice to help adults identify, understand and support children and young people with mental health issues.

Although it is aimed at professionals, parents and carers may also find the information helpful.

Read the sections about Talking to children and Is your child depressed?  You can also find out more by exploring the Royal College of Psychiatrists' parents and youth leaflets. This index provides mental health information tailored for young people, parents, teachers and carers.


When to seek professional help

There is a difference between feeling a bit low from time to time and a serious emotional health problem. If your child is feeling unhappy and low for a prolonged period of time, it's time to seek more professional help.

Any professional working with children and young people should know what to do. For example, if you approach a teacher for help with bullying, the teacher might deal with the problem with the help of a school counsellor or welfare worker. 

If the problem is more complex, the professional you initially approached may suggest getting help from colleagues with more specialist training.

A GP might refer a parent of a child with behaviour problems to a local parenting programme, or a young person who is depressed might be referred to specialist CAMHS.  

You should contact your local support services immediately if you are aware of a child or young person at serious risk of harm. 


Page last reviewed: 26/04/2016

Next review due: 26/04/2019