Getting specialist help for mental health

The services listed below provide specialist mental health support and treatment for children and young people who have more serious mental health difficulties which cannot be addressed through counselling or early help, or which require assessment and diagnosis or medication. You will need a referral to access these services, your GP or a social worker, youth worker, school/college staff or a parent/carer can help you to do this.

CAMHS – NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service – these services are for children and young people up to 18 years who have more serious problems with their mental health, emotional wellbeing or behaviour. This could include severe anxiety, depression, eating disorder, OCD, psychosis, suicidal thoughts, difficult behaviour, or concerns around development and learning disability. Your GP (family doctor) or other professionals such as school staff and youth workers can refer you to this service, you can also make a self -referral but may need a parent/carer or other adult to help you with this. Referrals are made via the Early Help Hub or your GP.

If you are 18 years or older, and experiencing more serious difficulties with your mental health  you will need to access adult mental health services, your GP or another health professional, social worker or youth worker can refer you into your local NHS Community Mental Health team 

A range of services are provided through Cornwall Council’s Children’s Services, these are accessed through referral to the Early Help Hub or MARU.

You can also find help from counsellors, therapists and psychologists privately (these are usually services you pay for) – always check that they are qualified and registered through a professional body such as BACP (British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy), UKCP (UK Council for Psychotherapy) or BPS (British Psychological Society). These organisations also have directories of registered therapists through their websites.

Specialist mental health and emotional wellbeing support after abuse or sexual violence

There are various services who can offer emotional support if you have experienced any form of abuse, either recently or as a younger child. These include:

WRASAC – one to one counselling, group programmes and a helpline for young women.

CRASAC  – counselling, groups and help for parents, for young women and young men.

Clear – therapeutic and youth work support to children and young people up to 18 years (25 years with additional needs). Please note that you will need a professional to help you refer to this service – talk to your GP or a teacher for example if you wish to access this service.

First Light offer support and advice around sexual violence and domestic violence, this includes the Independent Domestic Violence Advisory (IDVA) and Independent Sexual Violence Advisory (ISVA) services, support through any criminal or court processes, and the sexual assault referral centre (SARC) in Truro for crisis support.

If you are worried that any child, young person or vulnerable adult may be currently  at risk of harm, exploitation or abuse please contact the MARU (Multi-Agency Referral Unit) for advice or to make a safeguarding referral – 0300 123 1116. In an emergency call 999.


Find Advice and Support

Find Early Help for Mental Health 

Need help now?

If you need to speak to someone urgently call your GP or family doctor!


Childline up to 19yrs : 0800 1111
The Samaritans: 116 123
In an emergency go to A&E or call 999