Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS)
The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) is a free community-based tertiary mental health service provided through the WCHN across South Australia, providing care to those with severe and/or complex mental health needs.
CAMHS provides services to:
- young people up to 18 (16 in some areas) for community, statewide and hospital-based services
- perinatal women.
CAMHS works in close partnerships with multiple agencies, including General Practitioners and Primary Health Networks. Your General Practitioner is the most appropriate first point of contact. They can assess the difficulty being experienced and facilitate a referral to a range of support services. You can also contact the Adelaide Primary Health Network Central Referral Unit, Country PHN or Country and Outback Health to discuss your concerns. They will be able to assist with access to a range of Primary Health Network supported services for managing mental health concerns.
As a specialised tertiary mental health service, CAMHS consider referrals with the following complex challenges:
- complex emotional , behavioural or mental health challenges may be related to significant, persistent emotional difficulties (e.g. depression, anxiety, tearfulness, worthlessness, distress)
- difficulty regulating emotions and/or undertaking high risk behaviours (e.g. self harm, suicidal ideation, disordered eating, persistent aggressive behaviour, substance abuse, risky sexual behaviour, homelessness)
- reactions to traumatic events
- psychiatric illness (e.g. delusional thinking and/or hallucinations)
- disability (with associated mental health difficulties)
- experiences related to gender dysphoria.
Our services include:
- individual and family therapy
- group programmes
- information provision for parents/carers and key partners such as schools, GPs, hospitals, government and nongovernment organisations
- hospital-based mental health care for children and young people and perinatal women/carers and their infants.
Our services are provided by:
- Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing Workers or Clinicians
- Lived Experience and Peer Workers
- Mental Health Nurses and Midwives
- Occupational Therapists
- Social workers
- Speech pathologists
- Nurse Practitioners in Multicultural Mental Health and Forensic Care.
How to access this service
Referrals and enquiries
Please note that CAMHS Connect is a referral triage service for CAMHS services, and we are unable to provide an emergency/crisis response.
In an emergency or if you need urgent assistance, please call Triple Zero (000).
Although the first point of contact for most enquiries, CAMHS Connect does not replace the work of CAMHS Community Teams to reach children and young people from vulnerable backgrounds. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can also contact an Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing Worker directly at their local CAMHS Community team. We will also continue to work with local Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and Aboriginal Community Groups to strengthen the existing culturally sensitive ways to detect consumers with serious mental health concerns.
Referrals are made via our referral and triage service CAMHS Connect on 1300 222 647. Young people and their parents are encouraged to seek advice via their GP or current mental health service provider before contacting CAMHS Connect, as we can only provide services to those that meet our intake criteria. Your healthcare provider is really the best placed professional to support you with your concerns in the first instance. They may call us to make a referral in consultation with one of our triage clinicians.
Although the first point of contact for most enquiries, CAMHS Connect does not replace the work of CAMHS Community Teams to reach children and young people from vulnerable backgrounds. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can also contact an Aboriginal Social and Emotional Wellbeing Worker directly at their local CAMHS Community team.
Please note: for CAMHS to make an appointment, parental consent is required for children and young people under 16. Interpreters or TTY can be arranged.
Our services are open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday (except public holidays).
We have locations across South Australia. These include community teams, specialised and hospital-based services.
More about CAMHS
Providing feedback to CAMHS
We welcome both compliments about our service, and complaints when we have not delivered the sort of service you expect.
We recognise that some people find it difficult to contact the area directly they wish to complain about. We also recognise that you or your child may have had contact with more than one part of our service.
If you do not wish to contact the area directly, or would like to make a formal complaint, you are welcome to contact the Consumer Feedback Coordinator. You may provide your feedback by telephone, fax, letter or email.
The following form may help with providing written feedback (for either complaints or compliments).
Contact details for CAMHS community, statewide and hospital-based locations can be found on the CAMHS Locations page.
For Corporate CAMHS enquiries only:
Women's and Children's Health Network
55 King William Road
South Australia 5006