North London Partners in health and care

Mental health support for young people


On 30 March 2020, new arrangements were put in place to support children and young people presenting in mental health crisis, both with and without medical needs, as other hospital-based services change to support COVID-19.  

The arrangements are for children and young people at risk to themselves, due to suicidal ideation, crisis or because of heightened emotional states. These arrangements include:

  • The NCL-wide nurse/CAMHS clinically-led, out-of-hours crisis service team has been expanded and includes a contact line for health and care professionals.
  • Two new crisis/triage hubs, away from A&E, are now established where children and young people who do not require medical treatment (due to an overdose, self-harm, or other physical condition), can access urgent mental health assessment and support. These are located at the Northern Health Centre and Holly Oak in Edgware. See below for details of how to access the new CAMHS crisis pathway.
  • Local community CAMHS teams are still available during weekdays and are proactively supporting children and young people known to their services who are at greater risk of crisis.  

Children, young people and their families who require support should contact their named CAMHS clinician if they are known to services.  All children, young people and their families should contact their local CAHMS service for advice during week day working hours or otherwise call the GP or A&E if medically urgent. Childline, Samaritans and other voluntary sector crisis lines are also available.

If there is any doubt about a young person’s safety and physical wellbeing (for example in the event of an overdose or serious self-harm episode) then they must go to A&E in the first instance whatever time of day. (Add link)

Information on the new pathways is available to children and young people’s health and care professionals including social care, GPs and other support workers such as teachers and police.

There are a number of exclusions to the new CAMHS crisis pathway when a young person should not be referred to the crisis hubs.  This includes if a young person is being transported under a Mental Health Act Section 136 arrangement. 

  • If the young person has immediate medical needs, for example injury or overdose, then they need to go to the local A&E as per normal.
  • In all instances, it is important to call ahead to ensure a qualified mental health professional is present as soon as possible.

For more information:

To access a copy of the crisis pathway, or if you require further information email sarah.mckerracher1@nhs.net who will liaise with the clinical leads to answer any further questions.

Local CAMHS contact details are provided below and are contactable during 9am-5pm, Monday - Friday:

Contact Local Intake Team

  • Camden:              020 8938 2241
  • Islington:              020 3316 1824 
  • Barnet:                 020 8702 4500
  • Haringey:             020 8702 3400
  • Enfield:                 020 8702 4070