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Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) Learning Disability Community Service in East and West Suffolk

  • The CAMHS Learning Disability Community Service in East and West Suffolk is a community-based specialist mental health service for children and young people who have a learning disability and are under 18 years old.

  • Service Manager Lead: ​Tabani Mabvura
  • Service Contact: Telephone 01473 237 055.
  • Address:
    2nd floor,  Mariner House,  43 Handford Road, Ipswich, IP1 2GA
  • Service hours: This service is available from Monday to Friday between 9:00 and 17:00.

What this service offers

CAMHS Learning Disability Community Service in East and West Suffolk offers assessments and interventions for children and young people who have mental illness, and/or associated complex neurodevelopmental disorders. They may also present a high risk to themselves or others. 

When somebody is referred to the service our team meets with them and makes suggestions about how they can help. They might also advise if there are other services that could offer better support.   

In some cases, the team will help people to access mainstream services, or other more specialist services.  

The CAMHS Learning Disability Community Service in East and West Suffolk also looks at the person's physical health and other social, educational and environmental factors that may be affecting them. This includes working with them and those who know them well to identify any aspects that may make them unsafe or feel unsafe.   

Throughout assessment and the creation and review of a treatment plan, people who use this service and their family are involved. This ensures they have the help needed to sustain their recovery.  

If our team can help, people who use the service have access to a range of specialist professionals which may include one or more of the following:  

  • Specialist Learning Disability nurses

  • Behaviour Therapist

  • Clinical Psychologist

  • Consultant Psychiatrist.  

These people can offer a range of interventions for mental health. This includes working with people who use this service, and those who support them, at home, work, school, and in the community, in addition to medications and referrals to other services.  

Access this service

Referrals to access this service can be made through the Emotional Wellbeing Hub. Referrals will be supported by the person’s GP or Community Paediatrician. They will provide evidence that the person meets our eligibility criteria.  

Referrals are triaged upon receipt and a specialist assessment date is booked by individual needs.  

To be eligible for referral to this service the person must be under 18 years of age and:  

  • Have a severe to moderate Learning Disability

  • Have mental health and, or complex neurodevelopmental disorders

  • Have high risk challenging behaviours.   

Children and young people who have a mild learning disability will be helped to access generic mental health services.  

Eligible children and young people will be attending or are able to attend special school and be registered with a GP in Suffolk.  

Referrals accepted to the service will have evidence of outcomes from the least intrusive/restrictive support and interventions from other health, social care (Children and Young People) and education providers.  

This service is not for children and young people who have not been diagnosed with a learning disability or who have a stand-alone diagnosis of ASD or any other neurodevelopmental disorder.  

Visiting and onsite facilities

The CAMHS Learning Disability Community Service in East and West Suffolk provide clinics in the following locations:  

  • Child Treatment Centre, Bungalow 6, Walker Close, Ipswich,  

  • Ickworth Lodge, Hospital Rd, Bury St Edmunds.  

Both clinic locations provide parking which is free of charge. Both locations also provide wheelchair access and disabled toilet facilities. 

Our team can arrange to meet service users and their families or carer's access needs. Please advise of specific requirements in advance.  

How this service support carers including friends and family

The CAMHS Learning Disability Community Service in East and West Suffolk works with family members and carers across home, work, school, and community settings, if required.   

Support includes training, advice, information and education about conditions, as well as signposting to other services and supporting further referrals.  

Urgent help

If you are a service user and are in crisis and need support urgently, you should contact the service in office hours by telephoning 01473 237055.   

Between 8:00 and 20:00 contact the crisis team via the Access and Admission team by telephoning 0300 123 1334.  

Call 111 and select the mental health option to speak to our 24 hour mental health crisis line.

If you are with someone who has attempted suicide, call 999 and stay with them until the ambulance arrives. 

If anyone is at serious risk of harm, call 999 and ask for the police. 

For non-life threatening medical situations, call NHS111 on 111.  

For more information, see Help in a Crisis.

Other services and resources for young people in Suffolk

The following services and resources are also available to young people across Suffolk.

NSFT resources


Kooth offers free, safe and anonymous online support for people aged between 11 to 25. It provides:

  • Virtual chat sessions with friendly counsellors.
  • One-to-one text-based chats.
  • Peer-to-peer support.
  • Live online moderated forums.
  • A range of self-help materials.
  • Journals and goal trackers to reflect your thoughts.

There are no waiting lists or thresholds, just register on the Kooth website at for immediate support.

Point-1 Service (Ormiston Families)

Point-1 Service provides support for children and young people in Lowestoft and Waveney, who are experiencing mental health and emotional wellbeing problems, and live in Lowestoft and Waveney.

Contact the service by telephone on 0800 977 4077.

More information is available at and 

The Suffolk Wellbeing Service

The Suffolk Wellbeing Service is available for young people age 16 and over and offers a range of support for common emotional wellbeing issues, such as low mood, depression or stress. 

Telephone the team on 0300 123 1503.

More information is available at   


ChatHealth is your school nursing text service.Text a school nurse for confidential help on 07507 333356.

This service is available from Monday to Friday, between 9:00 and 16:30, excluding bank holidays.

More information is available at Home Page - ChatHealth


Moodwise is a website for 16 to 25 year olds that offers advice on topics such as mental health and relationships.

The website address for Moodwise is

Teenage Mental Health

Teenage Mental Health provide advice and support to families with young people who are experiencing difficulties with anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and other mental health issues. They also run free support groups for under 25s.

More information is available at

Self-harm toolkit

The Self-harm Toolkit provides support for those working with school age children and young people under 18 years of age in educational settings. The toolkit aims to increase understanding and awareness of self-harm, providing conversation starters, useful templates, points of support and a clear definition of self-harm.

More information is available at Self-harm - Healthy Suffolk

Take 5 challenge for primary schools

The Take 5 Challenge is a fun challenge to improve wellbeing using the five ways to wellbeing approach.

More information is available at Wellbeing for Schools | Suffolk Says Thanks

30-Day What’s Up? Challenge for secondary school pupils

This is a 30-day challenge with activities for supporting wellbeing.

More information is available at

Stay Alive app

The Stay Alive app is a Suicide prevention resource for the UK. The app is full of useful information and tools to help you stay safe in a crisis.

More information is available at

The Source

The Source provides links to support and information for young people in Suffolk, about the issues that are important to them, including emotional wellbeing support.

Access The Source at

4YP: Suffolk Young People's Health Project

4YP is a local charity which provides and coordinates services that improve the social, emotional, and physical health and wellbeing of young people in Suffolk, aged between 12 and 25. 

More information is available at

Suffolk Mind

Suffolk Mind provides resources for adults and children to help them stay well. Anyone who needs support can contact their friendly team by telephoning 0300 111 6000 between Monday and Friday.

More information is available at

General resources which you could also find helpful

Covid Hub 

Covid Hub helps you to find information about looking after your physical and emotional health at home on the Healthy Suffolk COVID-19 Information Hub.


Suicide bereavement support

Victim Support

Victim Support is a suicide bereavement service for people of all ages in Suffolk and North East Essex (with the exception of the Waveney area).

This service is free, providing confidential support for anyone who has been affected by bereavement as a result of suicide.


Samaritans’ Step-by-Step

Samaritans’ Step-by-Step service supports organisations working with young people so they can respond effectively following a suspected or attempted suicide of someone within the community.

Find out more at Step by Step | Samaritans

Physical activity and good emotional wellbeing

These resources are useful for encouraging physical activity and good emotional wellbeing:

Other useful contacts

  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (C.A.L.M) - Male suicide prevention charity for men and boys. You can contact their helpline and webchat services which are available from 17:00 to midnight every day. Telephone 0800 58 58 58 or visit
  • Hopeline UK (Papyrus) - A national charity for young people at risk of suicide or who are worried about a young person. Telephone 0800 068 41 41 or visit
  • Anna Freud – On My Mind website has clear, simple self-help advice to support families and children and young people. Visit
  • Childline - Advice for children on managing feeling and emotions. They have a Calm Zone with activities and videos to help children stay calm. Visit



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