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Frequently Asked Questions

We appreciate that you may have some questions around our Open Minds (CAMHS) service. We've developed a list of FAQs to help you understand more about our service, what we offer, how to refer, and how we might be able to support you.

What is Open Minds (CAMHS)?

Open Minds (CAMHS) is the new name for the services previously called Calderdale CAMHS, which stands for ‘Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services’. We are commissioned to deliver signposting advice and therapeutic interventions in Calderdale for children, young people and their families.

The service no longer follows the tiered model (e.g. Tier 2 CAMHS and Tier 3 CAMHS). We have now implemented an integrated, person centred and needs-led approach in line with the Thrive Framework.

Who provides Open Minds (CAMHS) in Calderdale?

Open Minds (CAMHS) is provided jointly by Northpoint, a local charity, South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and Kooth.

Open Minds (CAMHS) is commissioned by Calderdale Council and NHS Calderdale Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). All the Open Minds (CAMHS) providers meet the standards required to deliver NHS services and are closely monitored.

All Open Minds (CAMHS) staff are vetted in line with Safer Recruitment guidance, and receive regular supervision and performance management support.

Who can refer to Open Minds (CAMHS)?

Any young person (14+), parent/carer, or professional supporting a child or young person can refer to Open Minds (CAMHS).

How can I refer a child or young person to Open Minds (CAMHS)?

You can access our online referral form on our how to refer page. The page also provides helpful information about what makes a good referral. Please note that we no longer accept postal referrals.

Where do Open Minds (CAMHS) work?

The organisations that provide Open Minds (CAMHS) have offices at Commercial Street and Laura Mitchell Health Centre in Halifax. Some appointments are offered in these bases. We also provide sessions in a wide range of community venues across Calderdale, including children’s centres, colleges, schools and health centres. Open Minds (CAMHS) also offers on-line therapy, and is able to offer some appointments by phone or video.

How do referrals work?

The referral process enables you to tell us about the emotional and mental health issues that the child or young person is experiencing. It is 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 potential referrals on 01422 300 001. They 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.

What happens after a referral?

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 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.

What is Gillick Competency?

Children under 16 years old may refer themselves they're believed to have enough intelligence, competence and understanding to appreciate what's involved in their treatment. This is known as being Gillick competent. Find out more on this video.

What sort of difficulties can Open Minds (CAMHS) help with?

Open Minds (CAMHS) helps children, young people and parents/carers up to the age of 18 (or 19 where there are special educational needs).

Northpoint is commissioned to provide the First Point of Contact which offers ‘Getting Advice and Signposting’ support, and processes all the referrals into Open Minds (CAMHS).

Northpoint also provide ‘Getting Help’ short term therapeutic interventions for children, young people and families with mild to moderate mental health difficulties.

In line with the Thrive Elaborated Framework, the focus is on helping children and young people to access self-help resources, on-line support and community based activities which build on their strengths and interest. For many young people this is enough to help them to thrive.

The service may become more closely involved if there is evidence that the mental health concerns are continuing despite efforts by those who currently know and support the child.

Part of the remit of Open Minds (CAMHS) is to receive and process referrals for conditions such as ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorder. Once a referral is received then further information will be gathered from family and school (or other professionals where relevant).

If the referral meets the clinical criteria for assessment then the family will be supported to make an informed decision about next steps including which provider they would like to carry out the assessment in line with NHS Right to Choose guidance, and what support they can access while they are waiting.

SWYPFT may also become involved in supporting young people where the problem is of greater severity, complexity, risk, and duration and has not responded to short term work (‘Getting More Help’ and ‘Getting Risk Support’).

Kooth are commissioned to provide online support including counselling, resources, moderated forums and discussion groups. The service is anonymous and confidential and can be accessed 7 days per week up to 10pm at night from any device.

Where can I access additional support?

We've created a sheet with safety advice, helplines and useful websites.