What should you do if you feel you need an urgent response?

If you are in crisis it is important that you keep yourself safe.  If you feel suicidal or if you have hurt yourself - you must let an adult know as soon as possible.  It may be that the safest place for you to be assessed is at the Emergency Department at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.

You can also telephone the 24/7 mental health helpline: 0800 953 0110

Welcome to East Lancashire Child and Adolescent Service (ELCAS)

In many areas of the country this service is known as CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services).

Across Lancashire and South Cumbria a new model of care for children and young people’s mental health services has recently been implemented based on the THRIVE model of care, developed by the Anna Freud Centre and the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

THRIVE is child and young person centred and a needs led approach to delivering mental health services to children and young people. THRIVE has replaced a tiered service to reduce barriers accessing care. There are five categories within Thrive: Thriving, Getting Advice, Getting Help, Getting More Help and Getting Risk Support. ELCAS services are aligned to the THRIVE model of care. 

For more information regarding the THRIVE model of care and the Anna Freud Centre for Families please see links below:


Who are we?

ELCAS is a mental health service here to support children and young people, up to age 18th birthday, who are experiencing a range of mental health difficulties. Our ELCAS service consists of a number of different teams including: 

•    Community Psychiatric Team
•    Intensive Support Team (IST) including Day Unit
•    Primary Care Team (Primary Mental Health Workers)
•    Integrated Mental Health Team: Youth Justice (IMHT)
•    Responsive and Intensive Support Team (RAIS)
•    Mental Health Support Teams (MHSTs), based in schools

ELCAS is made up of people from different professional backgrounds that are skilled in working with children, young people and their families and we support professionals who need help and advice. The teams include consultant psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health nurses, social workers, mental health practitioners, specialist therapists, risk support liaison practitioners and a team of friendly secretarial and admin staff who will be your first point of contact should you contact ELCAS by telephone.

Please click on the links for more information regarding each of our teams.

Drop in Sessions

Our Primary Care Team offers weekly on-line drop-in sessions for children, young people, family/carers and professionals who may be concerned regarding the mental health of a young person up to the age of 18yrs.  If you are unsure about what services are available to help you or someone you know, please use the link and instructions on the poster below to speak to one of our practitioners.

Advice sessions are available on-line via ‘Attend Anywhere’, delivered by ELCAS.

Please log on using the hyperlink - https://nhs.vc/HLSC/CAMHS 

Please enter the word “drop” as the first name and “in” as the second name followed by your date of birth. You will then enter our virtual waiting area where we will collect you.

  • First Wednesday of every month - 1pm - 3pm
  • Second Wednesday of every month - 3pm - 5pm
  • Third Wednesday of every month - 5pm - 7pm
  • Fourth Wednesday of every month - 1pm - 3pm

What happens when you are referred to ELCAS?

When we receive your referral, we will determine if ELCAS is the right service for you or whether another local service would be more suitable.  If ELCAS is the right service we will contact you as soon as possible to agree with you a suitable date and time for your first assessment.  If we feel another service will best to support you we will advise the person who referred you about the other services that can help you.  We will ask you to complete some questionnaires and give consent to the service to support you. 

If you are attending ELCAS for the first time please see the video below:

For further information regarding Attend Anywhere, download the Attend Anywhere leaflet.

(Please note: this leaflet is for download and is not in an accessible format)


Record Keeping

ELCAS keep detailed records of the times we have seen you - these records include:

  • Diagnosis
  • Care Plans
  • Goals
  • Reports
  • Letters
  • Test results

What About Privacy?

Your confidentiality is very important to us.  You have the right to expect that all information that you give to us in confidence will be kept and only used for the purpose it has been given.  Information about you and your family will not be shared without your permission unless there are exceptional circumstances.   This could be if we feel there is a significant risk or child protection or safeguarding issue.

If it is necessary to share information with other professionals gained during your time with us, that information will be kept in strict confidence within those agencies and only necessary information will be shared. 

Anything we record about you is kept within your ELCAS medical record.  These records are kept separately to any other hospital medical record.  This means that if you attend another clinic within the hospital they will not be able to access or see your ELCAS records.  ELCAS records contain any notes we have written about you, letters that we send to your GP or the person who referred you and you are entitled to have knowledge of what we have written about you.

What should you do if you feel you need an urgent response?

If you are in crisis it is important that you keep yourself safe.  If you feel suicidal or if you have hurt yourself - you must let an adult know as soon as possible.  It may be that the safest place for you to be assessed is at the Emergency Department at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.

You can talk to somebody directly 24 hours per day at:

  • Lancashire and South Cumbria Mental Health Helpline: 0800 953 0110
  • ChildLine (free 24 hour helpline) 0800 1111

You Can Text:

Young Minds Crisis Messenger – text YM to 85258 available 24/7


Other services available:

Kooth – Online support (where you can remain anonymous) for 10-18yrs, (25yrs if SEND) available Monday – Friday 12pm-10pm, Saturday – Sunday 6pm-10pm

ADHD Northwest – Offer support for children, young people and their families who are affected by ADHD. 

Barnardo’s Young Carers – Covers East Lancs only (not Blackburn with Darwen) 

Brook Young People’s Counselling Service – Offers young people ages 13-25yrs one to one counselling

Healthy Young Minds – Lancashire and South Cumbria CAMHS Thrive Redesign Website for children, young people, parent, carers to access advice and support regarding mental health issues.  Includes self-referral form for ELCAS

Minded - MindEd is a free educational resource on children, young people, adults and older adults' mental health.  There are dedicated sections for parents and carers who are concerned regarding their child’s mental health.  MindEd offers tips on parenting, advice and information from trusted experts and parents working together.  MindEd is also an e-Learning resource for professionals across health, social care, education and youth justice settings.


Social media

Follow us on social media; Instagram, X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook. Search for: @elht_ELCAS