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If you need immediate support 

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Referral advice

Before you make a referral please consider other alternatives first, as this can make it easier and quicker for you to get the right help. The following are where most people get help from:

Self-help and advice

Get self-help/advice from our partner self-help/advice from the Children's Society

Talking therapy for 16-25 year olds

If you are 16-25 and feeling stressed, anxious or depressed and your medication needs can be met by their GP, you can get support from the Living Well Consortium.

Talking therapy for 16-25-year-olds from the living well consortium

Pause drop-in centre

Pause is our city centre drop-in service. You don't need an appointment and can just drop in to chat with someone about how you're feeling.

Open door counselling

Everyone feels down sometimes, but talking can really help. If you are aged 12-25, live in Birmingham and registered with a Birmingham GP, then Open Door can offer you a free counselling service. To access this service you need to be referred by your GP or we can refer you on if you complete the online referral

NHS approved mental health mobile apps

Do you want to try mobile apps that are approved by the NHS?

Autism West Midlands

Autism West Midlands support autistic people to live as independently as possible, in residential care, or in their own or the family home

Self-injury advice and guidance

Life Signs provides information about self-injury to increase awareness and understanding.

Support for people who hear voices

Intervoice is a charity that provide information and a support network for people who hear voices.

The Hearing Voices network provide information and run groups in Birmingham.

Support for sexual violence and abuse

RSVP  is a charity that offer empathic services to support and inspire children and adults of all genders who have been affected by sexual violence and abuse.

16-25 and homeless

St Basils is a charity that works with young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Transgender support

Mermaids is a charity that provides support for transgender youth up to the age of 19. This includes a helpline, forums for young people and parents and crisis text support.

Support for women experiencing domestic abuse

Anawim is a voluntary sector organisation which provides support services to women and their children at its Centre in Balsall Heath and in the community.- They provide counselling, and housing, and legal support.

Full list of local services

There are also many other services that can help you that can be found in our Service Directory.

Make a referral

Young people and parents can self-refer, as well as professionals such as staff from schools and colleges or GPs. The young person must be 0-25 (or up to 35 for first episode of psychosis) and must be registered with a Birmingham GP.

It’s really easy to make a referral – simply fill in our secure online referral form.

If you’re making a referral on behalf of someone else, it’s important that they understand your concerns and why you feel Forward Thinking Birmingham would be the best support for them. We’d advise you to talk to them about the referral before you make it and reassure them that this is a step towards seeing help for their difficulties. For advice about a referral which may include clarifying clinical urgency you can call us on 0300 300 0099 and press option 4 between 9am and 5pm Monday – Friday. 

All referrals submitted are screened for clinical urgency within 4 hours of receipt of referral during Access Centre opening hours Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.

If you are a GP or other healthcare professional

If you are a GP, we would advise you to get the young person or parent to self-refer using the secure online portal  where possible. Ask them to scan the QR code below with their phone to go direct to the portal. They may need some support to do this so please check that they have someone who can help them such as a parent or a teacher.

New referral qr code

Children/Young people/Young adults already open to FTB services

For people already open to Forward Thinking Birmingham and have had an appointment then you do not need to complete a further referral form.  Instead please speak directly to the community FTB team they are open to.  If you are not sure who this is please call 0300 300 0099 and press option 3. 

How to provide additional information to an existing referral

You can send further clinical information or letters for existing referrals of young people already open to the service via secure email to or via the referral portal postbox.  This additional information will be uploaded to the young persons’ clinical record and screened for clinical urgency within 4hours of receipt of the information.  If the young person is already open to FTB services the relevant service/clinician will be alerted to this information.

If you are referring for:

  • Eating Disorder – please include weight history and up to date information on most recent height and weight including further investigation to rule out physical causes.  Please note in cases where there is an immediate threat to life an ECG might be indicated or an A&E admission
  • ASD Assessment only – if under 16 please refer to community paediatrics, if over 16 please see your/the young person’s GP.  The GP can then email the referral and the AQ test (along with a covering letter) to the Joint Commissioning Team at 
  • <18yrs 11months Learning disability diagnostic assessment without a significant behavioural or mental health problem please liaise with the child/young person’s school and request a referral to school educational psychology or refer to community paediatrics
  • >19yrs Learning disability established diagnosis with further additional behavioural and disability needs please refer to Birmingham Community Trust Adult Learning Disability Service
  • Learning difficulty assessment such as Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia Diagnosis - please liaise with the child/young person’s school and request a referral to school educational psychology
  • ADHD Assessment 0 – 4yrs 11mths - please refer to community paediatrics. If the family require support in managing a child with difficult behaviours please also consider making an Early Help referral to Birmingham Children’s Advice and Support Service (CASS) on 0121 303 1888
  • ADHD assessment/treatment 5 – 16 yrs - if under 16 please refer to community paediatrics. FTB are not commissioned to provide ADHD assessments for people aged 5-16 where they do not meet the criteria for secondary care
  • 0-5 year old with a sensory, feeding or other developmental need (please refer to health visiting or community paediatrics)
  • Substance misuse or addiction need (please referral under 18s to Aquarius on 0121 622 7780, and over 18s to Change Grow Live.

How we use your information

We take your privacy very seriously and carefully manage all personal information provided to us. For more details on how we use your data, please visit our Information Governance page.