Gateway to mental health support for young people across Dorset

7th February 2022

 To further support young people struggling with their mental health, Dorset HealthCare is expanding its Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Gateway offer.

The CAMHS Gateway was launched in the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch area just over a year ago, making it easier and faster for children and young people to seek help.

More than 2,000 young people have accessed the service so far and it has now been rolled out to support young people across the whole of Dorset.

CAMHS Gateway gives 16-18 year olds the option to self-refer themselves online, without going through their GP. Under 16s are referred by their GP.

The service provides prompt assessments and – where appropriate – early interventions to help young people with issues such as depression, anxiety, isolation and self-image.

Clare Hurley, Dorset HealthCare’s Head of CAMHS, said:

“It’s been a challenging and disruptive couple of years for young people, and we are delighted to make the CAMHS Gateway available across the whole county.

“Often a brief, early intervention when someone is feeling low or struggling with a problem can help that person recover and prevent a more serious deterioration in their mental health.

 “And by enabling young people to refer themselves directly, we hope this will encourage them to manage their mental health and seek professional support if they need it.”

One user of the CAMHS Gateway service said:

“Using the Gateway was an excellent positive experience for me, and a huge step forward for my recovery.”

CAMHS offers a range of services to support children and young people up to the age of 18. Find out more about the Gateway plus other CAMHS services that require a professional referral, by visiting  

For Gateway enquiries, email or phone 0300 0191 770.

Dorset HealthCare offers a wide range of mental health support for all ages – visit to find out more or call the Trust’s 24/7 Connection phone line (0800 652 0190 or NHS 111) for urgent support.


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