Out of hours support

If you are experiencing something that makes you feel unsafe, distressed, or worried about your mental health, you can now contact your local crisis service calling:

111 Option 2 for Mental Health, or Mental Health Direct on 0800 995 1000

If you currently receive a service from a team at NELFT, such as a local community mental health team or a psychiatrist, then you can make contact with them directly during office hours, Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm. It may be helpful to refer to your care plan, which should have details of who to contact in an emergency.

CAMHS - Eating Disorders

Assessing risk:

Thorough physical health checks are regularly undertaken by our service to ensure the safety of your child, however, there may be some cases where your child is asked to attend your nearest Accident and Emergency (A&E) department for a medical review. This could be due to the physical health or mental health complications that are commonly associated with eating disorders.

Why might a young person need to attend A&E?

Some young people with eating disorders may experience thoughts to end their lives and attempt to significantly harm themselves. If you are concerned that your child may be at significant risk of harming themselves, we recommend that you attend A&E.

If you notice a deterioration in your child’s physical health or if advised by your EDS clinician, then please attend A&E for a physical health review.

What should I do if I need to attend A&E?

If you do need to attend A&E please take them by your regular mode of transport, if this will be the least distressing and safest option for the young person. If this is not possible, we advise that you ring 999 and request that an ambulance attends. We recommend that all young people should attend the A&E department with their parent / carer.

How EDS supports attendance to A&E:

Any referral to our service that meets emergency criteria will be triaged on the day and support will be given around how to access urgent medical care.

If you have been asked to attend A&E and information needs to be shared, then your EDS clinician will aim to provide you with a supporting letter or liaise with the A&E department in preparation for your arrival. Following discharge from hospital, the young person will be asked to attend our service for a follow up appointment and physical health review.

Paediatric Wards

We have developed pathways with our local NHS hospitals to provide a high standard of care for the specific needs of young people with eating disorders.

While rare, in some cases, your child may require a brief admission to a paediatric ward to help stabilise their physical health. If your child has not yet been assessed by our service, a clinician may choose to assess your child whilst they are on the ward. If emergency medical care is required, our CAMHS clinicians will regularly liaise and review your child’s care plan with the paediatric team to support the admission. As a parent / carer you will be regularly included and informed on any clinical decisions that are made about your child’s care.


Your child may be referred to INTERACT for additional support alongside EDS. This is a mental health community support service for young people aged 12-18. The INTERACT outreach service may be asked to provide support during a young person’s admission to general hospital ward or their visit to A&E.

Emergency support phonelines

  • NELFT Mental Health Direct. Call 0800 995 100 for 24/7 mental health support. https://www.nelft.nhs.uk/services-mental-health-direct
  • Shout is a free, confidential text line available 24/7 to support you. Text ‘Shout’ to 85258 https://giveusashout.org/
  • The Samaritans is a phone service available for free, 24/7 support from any phone. Call 116 123 www.samaritans.org
  • Beat offers support to help young people who may be struggling with an eating disorder or eating difficulties. Call the Youthline (under 18’s) on 0808 801 0711 (9am – 8pm weekdays, 4pm – 8pm weekends and bank holidays)
  • Childline. Offers confidential telephone counselling service for any child with a mental health problem. Call 0800 1111 or visit 1-2-1 counsellor chat | Childline for online support.
  • Papyrus. Provides confidential support and advice to young people struggling with thoughts of suicide, and anyone worried about a young person. Call 0800 068 41 41 or text: 07860 039967 (9am – midnight, 365 days a year).

Mental health support websites and apps

  • Good thinking. London’s digital wellbeing service that provides a range of resources for young people. Visit: Good Thinking - NHS approved wellbeing service | Good Thinking (good-thinking.uk)
  • Kooth. A free, anonymous online mental wellbeing community. This offers live chats with the team, discussion boards, helpful articles, and a daily journal. Visit: Home - Kooth
  • Calm. An app that offers audio classes and meditation programmes to help with sleep, relaxation, and mindfulness.
  • Headspace. An app that offers audio classes for meditation, including stress relief and anxiety control.
  • iBreathe. A simple app for deep breathing exercises. Helps to reduce stress and anxiety.