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Waltham Forest CAMHS

Waltham Forest Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) are a specialist multi disciplinary mental health team offering help to children and young people who are experiencing emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties.

The services are available to families with children and young people - from birth to their 18th birthday.

We have two bases in Waltham Forest, our main site at Wood Street Health Centre and another at Hawkwell Court.

We offer specialist assessments, treatments and interventions that are based on the individuals needs. 

During a child or young person’s development, there may be periods when they or their family’s ability to cope with difficult emotions or behaviour that challenge can put extreme pressures on relationships. Where possible, we want to provide prevention or early intervention to promote good mental health and wellbeing. 

We understand that there are times when children and young people require specialist mental health support, Waltham Forest CAMHS support children and young people who may experience the following: 

  • Depression
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder (OCD)
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (psychological problems following trauma)
  • Severe Attachment, Emotional and Behavioural Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Suicidality and Self Harming Behaviours
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Support is offered in a variety of settings such as specialist community clinics, home visits, school visits and support to hospital Childrens' wards and A&E departments.

We offer person centred care that is delivered in person or virtually depending on the preferences of the individual and their parent/carer.

We work in partnership and consultation with other agencies such as education, social services and primary care (GP’s etc.)

Click the buttons below for more information on each service

Improving Children’s Mental Health and Well Being in Waltham Forest

Transformation Plan Overview February 2020

Partner agencies in Waltham Forest have been working together to identify ways of improving services for children and young people (CYP) experiencing mental distress and to find ways to support children, young people and their families to have good mental health.

Our vision is to be able to reach children who need help earlier and to be able to provide the most effective and efficient evidenced based intervention available.

New developments in our plan include setting up a new, more accessible mental health service for children and young people (CYP) in schools and other community settings. The service will provide individual and group support, guidance and talking therapy to help deal with issues such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Managing feelings and emotions
  • Neuro diversity (incl. Autism Conditions, ADHD, OCD, Tourette’s)
  • Bereavement
  • Stress
  • Trauma

The service will work jointly with school staff to support implementation of the Mental Health Charter and the PHSE (Personal Health and Social Education) programme to promote exercise and good nutrition.

The service will also be able to ensure that children and young people (CYP) with complex mental health needs that require interventions from a range of different clinicians, specialist Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), can easily be directed there.

The resource is limited and we are looking to launch the service over several phases, with learning applied in each successive phase. Phase 1 has been launched as planned and initial feedback from the schools involved has been very positive. These phases are shown in the table below:





Phase 1

Schools Pilot - up to 4 schools

End November 2019

Phase 2

Schools Pilot - up to a further 4 schools


January 2020

Phase 3

Schools Pilot - up to a further 4 schools

February 2020

Phase 4

Further roll out, including other community settings

From March 2020



12 months/end of school year

Alongside this new service development there has also been significant investment into specialist CAMHS. The partners have recognised that for too long there has been insufficient resources in CAMHS which meant that waiting times have been very long.

The aim is to reduce waiting times to a few days in an emergency to a maximum of 18 weeks for routine referrals by increasing the capacity of the specialist service and by ensuring only those that need it are referred through the creation of the new school and community based service.

Alongside increasing the capacity of community and specialist CAMHS services in Waltham Forest, the partnership is also doing many things to improve the experience and effectiveness of the services we provide. This includes:

  • Talking to CYP and their families about how services can be improved.
  • Providing clearer information and communication about CAMH services, co-produced with CYP and their families.
  • Clear clinical pathways are being developed which will help make access easier and what support is available clearer.
  • Using technology to provide support and interventions such as , KOOTH, an online tool providing online counselling and help with managing feelings and emotions.
  • Providing help and support from more venues to reduce stigma and promote access.
  • Creating drop-in services to improve accessibility.

Other local developments include:

Mental Health First Aid training (MHFA) and Prevention and Early Intervention Training which has been successfully delivered to a large number of local professionals to improve their skills, knowledge and confidence to support children and young people.

Place2Be: is a national children’s mental health charity who deliver services in schools; which includes drop in sessions for pupils and parents and play based therapy which provides help with managing feelings and emotions

Early Help: This is a service which works closely with partners from Health, Social Care and Police to support families; for example with Health visitors in child health clinics.

Participation and Engagement

Co-production and engagement are essential elements of the CAMHS improvement plan to ensure that services meet the needs of local children, young people and their families.

We will continue to actively talk to a range of partners to progress this work.

Need help and support? Visit our CAMHS resources section to find relevant services and information for you here.