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About the Emotional Health Service

Welcome to the Kingston and Richmond Emotional Health Service 

The Emotional Health Service (EHS) is a team of therapists that work with young people and their families who have mild to moderate mental health difficulties.

The EHS is a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). 

CAMHS is the name for services that assess and treat young people with emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties. 

CAMHS teams work in different tiers (or levels of support).

Tier 1 - these are universal (available to everyone) types of support available without a formal referral, for instance counselling with a nurse in school.

Tier 2 -  the focus of this service is early intervention and prevention, including consultation, training and short term direct therapeutic interventions. The EHS is a Tier 2 Service.

Tier 3 - offer assessments, diagnosis and treatments to children and young people who have signs and symptoms of an emerging mental health disorder which is having a global impact on their ability to function.

Tier 4  - offers inpatient services for children and young people with exceptionally high levels of distress and complex mental health disorders. To access these services, a child or young person has to have a GP registered within the boroughs of Richmond or Kingston.

Tier 3 and Tier 4 services are provided by South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust.

Young people will be referred to the "tier"of service that will be the best one to support their needs at the time of referral. 

EHS Specialist Teams

In the EHS, there are specialist teams of mental health clinicians dedicated to the specific and often complex needs of children and young people. For example, those with learning disabilities, in or leaving care, unaccompanied asylum seekers, or those receiving support from safeguarding or adolescent safeguarding social work teams. These specialist workers from EHS are described as ‘embedded’ because they are part of the social care teams as well as being part of the EHS. The benefit of embedded EHS mental health clinicians is their highly specialist knowledge and experience, close working relationships with social care teams and shorter waiting lists for mental health assessments and therapy. 


In the EHS Safeguarding team, there are two mental health clinicians (currently Systemic Family Psychotherapists); one each for Kingston and Richmond. They support children/young people, families and the wider network, with the emotional and mental health needs of children and young people who have social care involvement at the level of Child in Need or Child Protection.

Adolescent safeguarding

In the EHS Adolescent Safeguarding team, there is one mental health clinician (currently a Clinical Psychologist) covering Kingston and Richmond to support children/young people, families and the wider network, with the emotional and mental health needs of children and young people with social care involvement. Families and young people may have adolescent safeguarding social care support due to concerns about risks to the young person in the community, such as county lines, grooming and substance misuse.


The EHS Permanency team supports children/young people, carers and the wider network with the emotional and mental health needs of children and young people who are in care (looked after), care leavers, who have a Special Guardianship Order (SGO), or who are unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC). There are three mental health clinicians (currently two Systemic Psychotherapists and one Art Psychotherapist) and one Assistant Psychologist in this team. The team works with young people up to the age of 24. Young people, foster carers or others who would like a referral to EHS Permanency should contact the young person’s social worker so that they can make the initial contact.

Children with learning disabilities

The EHS Children with Learning Disabilities team supports children/young people and their families when a child has severe or profound learning disabilities and attends a special school or specialist resource provision. There are two specialist clinicians (currently one Psychologist and one Behaviour Analyst) and one Assistant Psychologist in this team.

Overall, the specialist teams offer

  • Specialist consultations and support for social workers, carers and the wider network, to understand the young person’s difficulties in relation to their experiences. This helps the network think about how the young person can be supported best. EHS embedded clinicians can also support the direct work of social workers with young people. 
  • Training for social workers, foster carers, residential placement workers and others in the network.
  • Partnership (therapy) for children/young people either by themselves or with carers. This could be with one of the EHS embedded clinicians or a different type of therapy with a clinician from the wider EHS.  
  • Signposting and referrals to other services (e.g. refugee therapy or mentoring services, adult mental health services, youth projects).

The majority of referrals to embedded EHS teams come via social care professionals, with some referrals from health professionals, schools or other parts of the EHS.

Referrals for all tiers of CAMHS go through the the South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust CAMHS Single Point of Access (SPA).  They screens all referrals for children / young people under the age of 18 who either: 

  • live in Richmond or a have Richmond GP
  • live in Kingston or a have Kingston GP

The CAMHS SPA team ensure that the child/young person is directed to the most appropriate service, including completing telephone screenings with the family and/or relevant professionals, or face-to-face assessments as appropriate.  

The referral may be accepted to:

Who can refer?

Any professional, who has parental consent, can make a referral to CAMHS.  All referrals should have prior consent from the young person and /or the family.  Following acceptance of a referral you and / or the family may be offered a consultation to discuss your concerns in more depth.  They also accept referrals on behalf of local youth counselling services and may signpost young people and their families to other local support services and resources. 

Parents/carers can also refer on their children’s behalf.

Make a referral 

GP’s should make any CAMHS referrals via the Electronic Referral System (eRS). 

All other professional referrers or parents/families should refer directly to the CAMHS SPA by downloading the referral form from the South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust website and emailing this into the Kingston and Richmond CAMHS SPA Referrals inbox:

If you would like to make an enquiry prior to making a referral you can call the CAMHS SPA on 020 8547 6171, 9am – 5pm on weekdays.

The CAMHS SPA will contact you to let you know which tier of CAMHS support you will be offered, and what will happen next.

This service works with children and young people up to the age of 19 years old who have a Richmond or Kingston home address. The focus of this service is early intervention and prevention, including consultation, training and short term direct therapeutic interventions. We are very happy to have a discussion with you if you are worried about a child or young person.

Referrals will be accepted into the EHS (Tier 2) when:

  • The problem is a mental health problem and is having a significant impact on the child’s general functioning and
  • the problem is not resolving despite interventions from universal (Tier 1 for example school based interventions or counselling with school nurse) services located in school or the community and
  • the difficulties are present at home and in addition may be present at school or in the community.

This may include persistent moderate presentations of the following in the child or young person which cause significant distress:

  • Anxiety problems: panic or phobia including not wanting to go out of the home/finding it difficult to go to school, obsessional and compulsive behaviours
  • Low mood
  • Superficial self-injury without suicidal intention or plans
  • Psychosomatic complaints such as stomach aches or headaches where physical medical concerns have been ruled out
  • Eating problems and concerns about weight (that may lead if untreated, to an eating disorder)
  • Difficulties in coping with everyday life after experiencing a trauma or significant life event

Concerns about possible ADHD or autism will be screened and if necessary stepped up to Tier 3 CAMHS for specialist assessment and diagnosis.

If a child/young person has a diagnosis of ADHD or autism and there are significant behavioural or emotional well being concerns, despite attendance at a specialist parenting group, Tier 2 will be able to offer specialist intervention.

We do not accept referrals if:
  • The psychiatric concern is an emergency. Tier 2 CAMHS is not an emergency mental health service. If you are worried about a child’s immediate safety due to deterioration in their mental state, we advise you to contact emergency services or visit the local Accident and Emergency Department.
  • The child or young person is in need of immediate protection due to safeguarding concerns i.e. due to emotional, physical or sexual abuse or neglect. In these cases, safeguarding concerns must be reported and addressed to ensure the child is safe, before psychological support is assessed. We are happy to offer consultation around this particular issue to help think about the timeliness and appropriateness of any mental health intervention.

Your first appointment could be at either of our 3 sites: The Moor Lane Centre in Chessington, York Road in Twickenham, or the Guildhall in Kingston.

  • First appointments are about getting to know you.
  • They usually last about 45 minutes.
  • We ask about the difficulties you are experiencing and how you are managing these difficulties.
  • We will want to hear about what works well for you e.g. whether you want to talk to us alone, with your family, or with a friend.
  • We will consider whether it is best for you to continue with the EHS or if there is a different service that would be better suited to help you.
  • You and your therapist will come up with a plan that you can follow up until you see us for your second appointment.
Where to look for support while you're on the waiting list

Waiting for your referral to Emotional Health Service/Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) can feel like a slow process.

Find support while you wait

During your appointments
  • All of the information you share with us is confidential unless you or someone known to you is at risk of harm.
  • If we do have to share information, we will never do so without telling you.
  • We will sometimes ask you to fill out questionnaires to see you are and how things have been changing over time.
After your first appointment
  • After your first appointment, you may feel that you do not need any further help and that one session has been helpful enough.
  • If you decide that you want to continue with the EHS, there is often a wait between your first appointment and any future appointments.
  • We will aim to make a decision with you about what type of evidence-based therapy will meet your needs.

Types of evidence-based therapeutic work that the EHS offers

If your child is on the waiting list for either therapy or an ASD/ADHD assessment, you can contact us by email at:


Phone: Kingston, 020 8547 6269

Phone: Richmond, 020 8487 5470

Office hours: Monday to Friday: 9am to 5pm

If you have any questions before your first appointment, then please contact us and we can discuss any questions with you. Once your therapy sessions have started, then please call the clinician you are working with. If they are not available, you can leave a message and they will get back to you.

If you are unhappy about the service you are receiving, please call us and ask to speak with either the Head of Service or Deputy Heads of Service.