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Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) is a specialist service for people under 18 with moderate to severe mental health difficulties.

A moderate to severe difficulty is something that has a significant impact on your daily life. It stops you from doing things you want to do and need to do. For example, seeing friends and going to school.

You need a referral from your GP or another healthcare professional to access CAMHS.

Conditions treated in CAHMS

CAMHS treats moderate to severe mental health conditions and difficulties.

These may include:

If you have more complex needs

You may have other challenges along with mental health difficulties. For example, an intellectual disability or family difficulties.

If more than 1 service in the HSE may help, the services will look at your referral information. They will decide which service can best meet your needs. They may also work together to assess your needs.

If you have a difficulty CAMHS does not treat

Only a small number of children and young people need the specialist support of CAMHS.

Talk to your GP if you have a difficulty that CAMHS does not treat. They can help you to access other services.

The type of service you need depends on the difficulty you have.

Mild to moderate mental health difficulties

For mild to moderate difficulties, you can:

  • talk to your GP about your options
  • access services we fund - you do not need a referral from a GP for most of these services

About mental health supports and services

Educational assessments

The National Educational Psychological Service works with primary and post-primary schools to identify educational needs.

National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) -

Intellectual, physical or sensory disabilities

The following supports can help with intellectual, physical or sensory disabilities:

Child and family services

If you're worried about a young person

If you are worried about a young person's mental health, ask, listen and offer your support. Make it clear that you are there for them if they ever want to talk about something.

If they are not ready to talk, you or the young person could:

Page last reviewed: 27 October 2023
Next review due: 27 October 2026