Open Minds and Child and Family Mental Health Services


This chapter contains an overview of the services provided by Open Minds and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and explains how to make a referral to these services.

See also: Open Minds Website.


In July 2019, this chapter was reviewed and updated as required to reflect current service provision for children and young people who require support with their emotional well being. Details of the Open Minds emotional health and well being website were added.

1. Introduction

There are a range of different resources available to support children in Calderdale who require support with emotional health issues.

This chapter explains more about the services which are available and how to access them

2. Open Minds

Open Minds is an emotional health and well being website which provides a range of local and national resources for children, their families and professionals to support,  advise and signpost to specialist services. These include online resources, services such as counselling and self-help guides.

The following services are also available:

Time Out

Time Out is a project delivered by Healthy Minds and offers children and young people aged 10 - 19 opportunities to make the active choice of doing something for their own wellbeing. Time Out offers a space for them to be themselves, relax, socialise and 'find their thing'.

KOOTH.COM Online Counselling for Children and Young People is an online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform for young people aged 11 - 25 in Calderdale. The website allows young people to gain anonymous access to advice, support and guidance on any issue that is affecting their wellbeing. From friendship or relationship issues, family disagreements or difficult home lives, to concerns around eating, anxiety, stress, depression, self-harm, suicidal thoughts etc. Qualified counsellors are available to give young people the support they need, when they need it.'s live chat service is available from 12 noon - 10pm Monday to Friday and 6pm - 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays and is accessible from  mobiles, tablets and desktops. It is completely free of charge.

The Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service Guide For Families has been written by parents and professionals to support families with children and young people who are experiencing emotional health and wellbeing difficulties.

The Emotional Health and Wellbeing Service Guide For Professionals has been developed as a resource for professionals who are supporting children and young people experiencing emotional health and wellbeing difficulties. This guide forms part of Calderdale's implementation of Thrive and supports our approach to getting advice and signposting.

3. Referrals to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)

All referrals to CAMHS in Calderdale are made through the First Point of Contact, which is a single point of access for all referrals. CAMHS is provided by two organisations; Northpoint Wellbeing Limited and South West Yorkshire Partnership Foundation Trust, who work together to provide a service for children, young people and their families. 

CAMHS provides an evidence-based, comprehensive service to children and young people aged up to 18 years who are experiencing emotional and mental health problems. The service offers direct work to children and young people and their families, both on an individual and group basis, and offers mental health expertise across children's services, providing consultation, training and advice to carers/families and other professionals.

How to refer:

The First Point of Contact referral flowchart contains guidance on referring to CAMHS. It provides an overview of how to make a referral, and the possible outcomes of a referral.

Referrals can be made via the Calderdale CAMHS website.

However If you are unsure whether to make a referral or need some advice regarding supporting the mental health of a child or young person please telephone the First Point of Contact on 01422 300001.

The First Point of contact operates Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 4.30pm and until 6.30pm on Tuesday & Wednesday evenings during Calderdale term time and offers:

  • A telephone based consultation service for referrers, offering advice and information for potential referrals;
  • An information point regarding the progress of referrals;
  • A team of clinicians who review and process referrals into CAMHS based on mental health risk, using a stepped model of care for crisis, urgent, and routine referrals.
For more information, please visit: Calderdale CAMHS website.

4. Referrals to Calderdale Therapeutic Services (CTS)

CTS provides a therapeutic service to Children Looked After, and referrals are accepted from social workers. The team includes specialist social workers, a family therapist, psychologist and specialist key workers. The service provided includes:

  • Direct work with children and carers;
  • Specialist assessments;
  • Case consultations;
  • Group supervision;
  • Clinical oversight for social workers engaged in direct work;
  • Training to staff and carers; and
  • Advice and support to the professional network around the child.

The team also offers consultation  and advice on Life Story Work for Children Looked After, called 'My Life and Me'. Web based resources are also available to support this aspect of practice.

The team also accepts referrals from the Vulnerable Young People Panel for young people who are at risk of family breakdown.