Specialist Community Mental Health Service and the Urgent Help Service for children and young people

Sussex Partnership’s Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) supports children and young people who are affected by specific mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

These conditions can impact a young person’s wellbeing and their ability to develop fulfilling and enriching lives. The difficulties they experience may put them, and their relationships with others, including their family, at risk.

The time between referral and the first face to face assessment will depend on the need and urgency of the referral as follows:

  • A routine response is offered to establish what, if any, specialist mental health care is required to support the young person and their family. This will happen within 20 working days.
  • A priority response is offered if a young person’s mental health is rapidly deteriorating and if their risk of harm to themselves or others is increasing. This will happen within five working days.

An urgent response is necessary if the young person is at immediate risk of taking their own life or is showing severe psychotic symptoms.

This is a service available to young people already known to our services.

The Duty Clinician on call is available from 9am-5pm Monday to Friday. You can call them on 0300 304 0061.

Please note, when contacting the Urgent Help Service a response will be received within four hours.

Referrals for young people presenting with this level of mental health risk who are being referred directly to CAMHS can be arranged and may require to be seen at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (RACH). The duty clinician at Specialist CAMHS can assist with this.

Treatment provided by the specialist CAMHS team is evidence-based, which means it is care and treatment based on high quality research that shows it works. Our team multidisciplinary, which means it includes people with a range of skills including psychiatrists, psychologists, nurses and therapists.  

We work closely with the young person and their family to develop a care plan, which sets out their goals and what treatments have agreed together that they will try. We regularly review progress to make sure that the treatment is working and helping them to get back on track. If things are not improving we will look at other ways they may be able to help.

It’s also important that young people and their families are able to give feedback throughout their treatment and we have different ways you can do this. Please see our give us your feedback page

Between the hours of 9am-5pm Monday to Friday you can contact the CAMHS Duty Clinician on 0300 304 0061.

Out of these hours, in a crisis, contact the NHS 111 and select the mental health option

If it's an emergency, go to A&E or call 999 for emergency medical attention.

The Pan-Sussex Family Eating Disorder service works with children, young people and their families to treat eating disorders. Looking at physical health as well as mental health and working with them to put together a treatment plan to help get the young person back on track.

For more information please visit our Eating Disorder Service page.