Child & Youth Services - Mental Health

Child & Youth Services - Mental Health


Child Adolescent Family Mental Health Service (CAFMHS) provides assessment and treatment for children and adolescents up to 14 years with moderate to severe mental health difficulties. The overall approach incorporates biological, developmental, psychological, and social aspects.

Youth Specialty Service (YSS) provides comprehensive assessment and treatment for young persons aged between 14 to 19 years with moderate to severe mental health issues. Treatment programmes may include: cognitive behavioural therapy, behavioural management techniques, family therapy, parenting skills, medication, individual therapy and group work. There is a day programme facility that provides assessment and treatment for those who are unable to attend school.



CAFMHS - Level 2, Dunedin House, 9 Moray Place, Dunedin

YSS - 3rd floor, Savoy Building, 8 Moray Place, Dunedin 


Contact Details

CAFMHS - 03 471 7105

YSS -  03 474 5601

24 hour Freephone - 0800 44 33 66

Emergency Psychiatric Services - If you are in a crisis and need urgent assistance please phone the Emergency Psychiatric Service Team who provide 24 hour a day, 7 day a week service on: 0800 46 78 46

Further information about YSS: 
Who are we? 

We are a team of health professionals from various backgrounds such as:

  • Child and adolescent psychiatry
  • Psychology
  • Nursing
  • Social work
  • Occupational therapy
  • Substance abuse
  • Kaioranga hauora Māori
  • Youth forensic

We have a close working relationship with the youth consumer advisor who provides the service with advice, support and feedback from a youth perspective.

How can we support you? 
With such a wide variety of skills within our team we can support you with:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Deliberate self-harm
  • Obsessions and compulsions
  • Eating disorders
  • Psychotic disorders
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Alcohol and other drug issues
  • Other mental health issues

What can we do to help?
Sometimes people have difficulties, which may lead them to feeling sad, hopeless, worried, scared or angry. These feelings can go away but sometimes they stay. This is when some people might want extra help and that is what we are here for.

An initial assessment and gathering of information to complete the assessment is made. We would then work with you to decide where to from here.

Treatment and therapy plans are developed in close consultation with the young person. We, at all times, aim to involve parents and families. The number of intervention sessions will vary from case to case.  A case manager will co-ordinate your care and treatment while you are in the service, and is available to answer any questions.

What kind of treatment and services do we offer? 
Depending on your needs, you may be offered:

  • Individual or group/family therapy
  • Cognitive behaviour therapy
  • Medication
  • Alcohol and other drug addiction advice
  • Secondary school support/ liaison
  • Cultural assessment and support
  • Youth Day programme
  • Education about mental illness and youth mental health well-being
  • Support with/for families

Who can refer to YSS? 
We accept referrals, in writing, from any professional working with young people. We can accept family and self-referrals. You can contact our triage staff to discuss any referral queries. Once your referral is accepted you will be posted an appointment time. Staff and youth may use text or e-text as a way of reminding or cancelling appointments only. It is not to be used for any other communication or emergency contact.

Do you live outside Dunedin? 
Southern DHB has youth services in other locations — Child and Adolescent Family Mental Health Services (CAFS/ CAFMHS) based in Oamaru, Balclutha, Dunstan and the Southland services of Invercargill, Gore, and Queenstown. Assistance with transport costs to attend these services may be available.

Useful links: 

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