CAMHS learning disability service

The CAMHS Learning Disability (LD) team works with children and young people with moderate to profound learning disabilities* and their families, across all of the settings that support them (including schools and short break services).   

Children and young people with learning disabilities are much more likely to develop mental health difficulties than their peers, although these can present quite differently (often as significant changes in usual behaviour such as an increase in physical aggression or consistently refusing to leave the house).  In addition, they may not have a recognised mental health need, but may have developed severe and complex behavioural difficulties (such as damaging self-injurious behaviour) that cannot be resolved by other services, and require specialist assessment and intervention.  The CAMHS LD team, therefore, works with children and young people who have significant mental health and/or behavioural needs.  

The team consists of a range of professionals with experience in this area, who draw on the evidence base to tailor interventions to each young person’s situation.  Where there is little evidence to draw on, the team are skilled at creatively combining existing psychological approaches.  

The service seeks to empower families to take control of their own lives by having the least intrusive involvement possible, in order to try to achieve more lasting change.

*The different terms used across services can be confusing; here 'learning disability' refers to a global impairment of learning and development that impacts on all areas of a young person’s life (whereas ‘learning difficulty’ refers to a more specific issue such as dyslexia).

Accessing the service

CAMHS only accept referrals from professionals working with children and young people where there is concern that the child/young person has a mental health problem.

Most of our referrals come from GPs however we find it more helpful when the person who knows the child and the concerns better makes the referral. We prioritise appointments based on the Mental Health need and not who referred to CAMHS.

Send referrals to:

Email:  WHCNHS.CAMHS-SPA@nhs.net
Tel: 01905 768 300
Working hours: Monday to Friday 9.00am - 5.00pm

If you are unsure whether the concerns you have will be suitable for CAMHS you can either call or email us directly on the information above. If we feel that we are not the right source of help for you we may try to make other suggestions of support which could be useful.

Help and resources

If you are a child or young people please visit the our information section to find out more about feelings and emotions.