Tamworth Child & Adolescent Mental Health


The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) provides a range of specialist mental health services in both community and inpatient settings across Hunter New England to infants, children, young people, their families and carers with a view to optimising mental health outcomes. CAMHS is staffed by multidisciplinary teams which may consist of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, Psychiatry Registrars, Social Workers, Psychologists, Occupational Therapists, Dieticians and Nurses.

CAMHS clinicians provide a range or therapeutic interventions which are implemented following individual and family assessment. CAMHS works within a broad systemic model and sees the child or young person in their family and social context and is attuned to a range of psychosocial factors contributing to mental health and well-being.

Due to the presence of mental illness/disorder, children/adolescents who can access CAMHS:

  • May be at significant risk of suicide/ harm to self or others
  • Experience high levels of emotional distress and experience moderate to server functional/development impairment.

Aboriginal children and adolescents are seen through CAMHS services where there are concerns about their social and emotional wellbeing. Clinical care often occurs in partnerships with local Aboriginal services. CAMHS also employs Aboriginal clinicians whop work alongside other CAMHS clinicians.

In this way, CAMHS also employs Aboriginal clinicians who work alongside other CAMHS clinicians. In this way, CAMHS aims to provide culturally sensitive and appropriate mental health and social and emotional wellbeing services to the local communities each local area has specific arrangements in place. Families can be seen by the Wiyiliin-ta team who work in partnership and Awabakal medical service and Mindaribba.

Geographical are we service

Tamworth, Manilla, Gunnedah and Quirinidi.

Referral Eligibility Criteria

Many of the children and adolescents who are referred to CAMHS do not present with concerns about immediate risk of harm to themselves/others. These children and adolescents frequently have a number of difficulties that are causing high levels of distress and concern and impacting on their development. At times these children and adolescents may be places on a waiting list prior to allocation to a clinician. If this is the situation, alternative options for care may be discusses with the referrer and the family/carer.  However there are other referrals to CAMHS that do require a prompt response.

Referral Exclusion Criteria

If referral is not triaged as moderate to severe distress/mental illness. Or risk of harm to self and others.

Referrals Accepted from and how

CAMHS receives requests from various public and private health professionals for Psychiatric consultations regarding medication regimes and/or diagnostic clarification.

Such requests should be accompanied by the full range of relevant reports, previous assessments and clear statement re referral request and expectations of CAMHS. They will be triaged by the MHCC.

For particular professionals the following arrangements are in place:

General  Practitioners

In the first instance for inquires for medication regimes GPs may be advised to consult the GP Psych Support Service 1800 300 588 (www.psychsupport.com.au). Requests for diagnostic clarification are directed to the CAMHS Consultant who will then determine clinical response which may include placement on a waiting list for appointment with consultant.

Paediatricians- public and private sector

A Child and Adolescent Consultant opinion may be offered at the written request of a Paediatrician for children and young people who are o a complicated regime of mediations of who have failed first line treatment for psychotropic medications. This request needs to be accompanied by previous reports/assessments and current interventions.

Requests from external agencies. E.g.: Community Services, ADHC NGOS’s

In the absence of the external referrers’ access to targeted agency funding for Psychiatry, CAMHS will consider these requests. It will be imperative that the referring agency has a clear management plan in place and agrees to continue all aspects of case management.

Requests from private sector Allied Health professionals

These referrals will not be accepted to CAMHS and the Allied Health professional will be directed to the GP who is co-ordinating care.

Other Relevant Service Providers

Some difficulties in children and adolescents cause concern, however no not have a mental health basis. These include developmental delay, learning problems, sexual assault, drug and alcohol abuse, child protection. A number of other services are available and helpful including school counsellors, drug and alcohol services, sexual assault services Paediatricians, Community Services, family support services and community paediatric services. If CAMHS is not seen to be the most appropriate service at the time of referral, others services will be suggested.

Location and contact details


(02) 6767 7910
Tamworth Hospital: Dean House