Last updated: 8 April 2024

Next review: 8 April 2025

If you're struggling to cope and haven't been able to find support, or you think your child may need a specialist diagnosis, you may need some more help.

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)  is Waltham Forest's specialist mental health team which supports children, young people, and their families. We help children and young people under 18 who are experiencing emotional, behavioural, or mental health difficulties. 

Our team of mental health professionals includes:

  • child and adolescent psychiatrists
  • child and adolescent psychotherapists
  • clinical psychologists
  • family psychotherapists
  • specialist nurse practitioners

There is a range of treatments available from diagnosis, therapeutic support, and counseling, to medication prescribing and monitoring by a variety of professionals.

We also provide:

  • consultation, advice, and support to professionals working with your children
  • specialist adolescent teams working with young people aged 12 to 18 years with severe and complex mental health difficulties
  • support to hospital-based paediatric services

Making a referral

Referrals are accepted from schools, GPs, social care services, youth centres, youth offending organisations, and other health and social care professionals.

The service can be accessed through Waltham Forest's referral form.

If you or your child are being referred for a possible diagnosis of Autism or ADHD, we may ask for some additional information from you. These forms are known as the ‘SNAP’ (Swanson, Nolan, and Pelham screening for ADHD) and the CAST (Childhood Autism Syndrome Test). These forms give us valuable information about how your child is managing in different situations to help us with the diagnosis. Please complete these forms before submitting your referral form. You can ask your child's school for help with completing the forms. Schools will need to complete the forms too, to help CAMHS understand how your child is coping in different settings.

Services from CAMHS

After your referral to CAMHS’s, you will receive a letter explaining that you have been accepted, or a letter to say that further information has been requested from the referrer. 

Once accepted you will have a call from a CAMHS practitioner. They will take a case history from you. They will ask you questions such as:

Developmental history - the age your child started to do things and if any assessments have been carried out by a consultant paediatrician or educational psychologist.

Family history – information about your family and any history relevant to the potential assessment e.g. if someone else in your family has mental health needs or a neuro-disability.

They will also ask you about your concerns and how they affect your child, your family, and how your child is managing at school.

After the case history review, you will receive a letter telling you if a further assessment appointment is needed, and the waiting time, or if no further appointment is needed but other help may be useful to you.

If you are offered a further appointment, it may be on one of the pathways below.

You and your child may be seen by professionals working in one of the specialist pathways.

Specialist CAMHS Pathways

Emotional Difficulties Pathway:

  • staff work with children and young people who have a range of anxiety and depression disorders, including Phobias, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Bipolar affective disorder, PTSD etc.

Neurodevelopmental Pathway: 

  • Staff diagnose and support children and young people (CYP) with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and co-morbid learning disabilities.

Complex care management:

  • For those young people experiencing mental health disorders that means they have high support needs.

To read more about CAMHS services in Waltham Forest you can refer to our CAMHS threshold document.

Transition into Adulthood

If you are aged 17.5 years and under CAMHS services, your clinician will meet with you to discuss next steps as you approach 18 years old. You may be referred back to your GP for advice and support if needed, or your clinician may discuss referral onto Adult Mental Health Services. Your clinician may ask for advice from our 18-25 years mental health team, about the best way to support you. 

18-25 years mental health team

The 18-25 offer is a newly established offer that sits within CAMHS service. It is designed for young people between the ages of 18 and 25 with mild to moderate mental health needs. The objectives of the service are to:

  • Support a smooth transition into Adult Mental Health Services (AMH)
  • Provide short-term, evidence-based interventions to Young People
  • Support professionals when planning the transition from CAMHS to AMH services
  • Provide consultation to Leaving Care Coaches for potential signposting, advice, and acceptance of referrals for YP
  • Provide workshops/ groups in colleges within Waltham Forest
  • Provide pilot drop-in service at Waltham Forest College
  • Provide drop-in group at the Care Leavers Hub, in collaboration with Care Grow Live & sexual health service

Referrals are accepted from CAMHS, Waltham Forest College (for drop-ins), Care Grow Live and Leaving Care Coaches

email or telephone 0300 555 1247.

Child and Adolescence Services Waltham Forest

Contact details

Emergency line open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday: 0300 555 1247 (Outside of these hours you can call Mental Health Direct for crisis support: 0300 5551000)


Wood Street Health Centre

6 Linford Road


E17 3LA  

Opening times

Monday: 9am to 5pm Tuesday: 9am to 5pm Wednesday: 9am to 5pm Thursday: 9am to 5pm Friday: 9am to 5pm Saturday: closed Sunday: closed