Child and adolescent mental health service (Redbridge)

The Emotional Well Being and Mental Health Service (EWMHS) are Redbridge’s area based specialist mental health team providing support to children, young people and their families. Our service is available to families with children & young people from birth to their 18th birthday. Our service offers help to children and young people who are experiencing emotional, behavioural or mental health difficulties. The types of difficulties we see can include:

Depression, Anxiety disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive-Disorder (OCD), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)(psychological problems following trauma), Severe attachment, emotional and behavioural disorders, Eating disorders, Self-Harm, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

We offer specialist assessments for young people experiencing emotional and behavioural difficulties as well as various specialist assessments in parent & child mental health and neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and Autism.

Support is offered in a variety of settings such as specialist community clinics, home visits, school visits and support to hospital Childrens wards and A&E departments. This is offered in a variety of ways, in the main this takes the form of face to face talking therapies with CAMHS professionals. Group work is also offered. We work in partnership and consultation with other agencies such as education, social services and primary care (GP’s etc.)

During a child or young person’s development, there may be periods when they or their family’s ability to cope with difficult emotions or behavior can put extreme pressures on relationships. We want to work with children and young people as early on as possible during these difficulties in order to turn the situation around.

What happens after a referral is received?

If someone refers you to EWMHS and we feel that you may benefit from our service, you will be offered an appointment to meet someone for an initial assessment.

Depending on how urgent your need is, you may either be seen straight away or you may have to wait for an appointment.

Unfortunately, sometimes CFCS receives referrals where we consider another service would be of more help e.g. a youth counsellor or school nurse etc. Your referrer will be notified of this with minimal delay. 

Who can refer?

Anyone is able to make referrals to the EWMHS; including professionals, families and carers, and young people themselves. For professional referrals, please complete the form attached below. For families and/or self-referrals, please call the telephone number listed below.

Before you attend your first appointment:

You will be asked to complete various forms before you arrive for your initial assessment. It is important to complete these with your parent/carer ensuring all questions are answered. Some forms are for consent for us to treat you, others will ask about up-to-date contact details and some (when completed) are used to determine your specific needs. Please refer to our ‘How Forms and Questionnaires can help’ leaflet for detailed information.

How does completing these forms help me?

This question was raised during our young people’s participation group and the analogy given by our clinical psychologist was that of an X-ray of broken bones. A broken bone would need an X-ray both before and after treatment. Before, so we can identify the problem and after to ensure the therapy has or is working.

Our outcome measures are needed similarly to help us understand your difficulties and see whether we have been able to make a difference.

Additionally we are requested by those who commission (pay for the) service to evidence what we do to help guide further service improvements. Our young people advised that they would complete the forms following this explanation. We encourage you to actively request to complete these measures throughout our journey together.

At your first appointment:

This usually lasts 90 minutes and you and all the people living in the family home may be asked to come along to the initial assessment. If this is a problem, or you would like to bring someone else along, you or your parent/carer can telephone us to arrange this.

At this appointment, you and your family will be asked questions by one or two CAMHS professionals. They may ask about different things. about your difficulties, the positives and strengths in your life and your family. There will be plenty of opportunity for you to ask questions too. Through these discussions, decisions are reached with you, about the type of support that would be most helpful to you. If further work with our Specialist CAMHS team is needed, you will be allocated a worker and further appointments arranged.

The types of treatments that we may provide include:

  • Individual therapy,
  • Systemic family therapy,
  • Cognitive Behavioural therapy,
  • Psychotherapy,
  • Consultation and advice to other professionals involved in your care,
  • Medication, where appropriate and advice about other appropriate services.

We will involve you in the planning of your care, as well as decisions about discharging you from our service.

How long will I have to come to EWMHS?

Some young people come for one session; some continue to come along for a longer periods depending on the level of support you require.

What therapies do we offer:

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT):
CBT consists of 6-8 sessions with review which usually take place weekly, either individually or in some instances with a family member. CBT focuses on how you think about the things going on in your life, your thoughts, images, beliefs and attitudes – and how these impact the way you behave and deal with emotional problems. It then looks at how you can change any negative patterns of thinking or behaviour that may be causing your difficulties. In turn, this can change the way you feel. CBT aims to understand what is happening in your life and the things that you would like to be different. It aims to give you the skills to make these changes so that your problems feel smaller and you start to feel better. Each week you will set yourself goals to work towards. In between your sessions you will try to practice doing these things. You may also be asked to do other things like keeping a diary. CBT has a good evidence base for helping with depression and anxiety.

Family Therapy:
During family therapy we try to work with you and members of your family (or other important people in your life). We will see different family members either together or alone. Our aim is to understand everyone’s point of view about certain problems and relationships so that the family can talk, listen and work together to find ways to change so that you start to get on with each other better. How often we see you will depend on how you are doing. You may be with one therapist, or there may be more than one with you. Sometimes we will use a special one-way mirror so that a therapist can watch and better understand how your family acts together. If this is going to happen it will all be explained to you beforehand and you can choose for this not to be used.

Child and Adolescent Psychotherapists may see children and young people individually or with other family members. The therapeutic relationship is developed through talking or play, depending on age. The child has an opportunity to work towards a better understanding of themselves, their relationships and their established patterns of behaviour. Psychotherapists also apply their framework of thinking to work with parents, families and carers and to training and supporting other professionals who work with children, young people and families to encourage a deeper understanding of the child's perspective.

The team at CFCS include a number of doctors who are trained and experienced in working with young people. In some cases, medication can be offered, usually in addition to a talking therapy. This would be discussed with the young person, usually along with their parents, to ensure that everyone has a good understanding of the effects and possible side-effects of the medication and are supported to make an informed decision about this.

Other Interventions:
Not all young people will be able to benefit from these interventions and therefore professionals including community psychiatric nurses, psychologists, doctors, family therapists and psychotherapists are able to use their skills to work with you to identify what you would like to be different in your life and to think about how you might achieve this. This may include working with you and/or your family using aspects of one or more of the above therapies or signposting you to another agency which might be better able to meet your needs.

Who will we see?

At your first assessment you will be seen by a CAMHS professional who could include one or two of the following:

Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists

They are medically qualified doctors who specialise in working with young people with mental health problems and their families. Child psychiatrists are the only CAMHS professionals who can prescribe medication if it is needed

Family Therapists

Family therapists work with young people and their families together. If you are referred to a family therapist you might meet them regularly so they can help you manage the difficulties that are happening in your life. You can decide who comes to the meetings and what you will speak about.

CAMHS Nurses

Psychiatric nurses, or child and adolescent mental health nurses are registered nurses who are trained in mental health and have specialist training in specific therapies. Sometimes specially trained CAMHS nurses may prescribe medication for some conditions (e.g. like ADHD).


Psychotherapists help you to understand why you feel the way you do, and what lies behind your responses to other people and to things that happen to you.


A Psychologist can assess and help with young people’s psychological functioning, emotional wellbeing and development. There are different types of psychologists (Clinical Psychologists and Counselling Psychologists)., but they all help with the way that you behave and the way you feel and think about things.

Social Workers

Our social workers help support therapeutic work with families who are referred to the CAMHS team. They will have specific experience and training in child mental health

Mental Health Practitioners

They are usually trained in mental health and help in the assessment (understanding) and management of emotional, behavioural and mental health problems.

Most of the work that they do with children, young people and their families is done through out-patient appointments, while the young person continues to live at home.

What about my privacy?

Confidentiality is considered very important to us. You have the right to expect that all information given to us in confidence will be used only for the purpose of which it was given. Information about you will not be given to others without your permission. However, in exceptional circumstances - for example, if we feel there is a risk of harm from, or to, others or if there may be child protection/safeguarding issues - confidentiality may be broken. If it does become appropriate to share information gained in the course of our work with other professionals, the information will be kept in strict professional confidence. It is our practice that letters are written to whoever referred you and your GP, and you can expect to receive a copy of all letters written about you.

We work with children, young people and families from all backgrounds. We aim to provide a service which is sensitive to all cultures and respects ethnicity, religion and individual identity.

If English is not your first language, you can request the use of our interpretation services.

Patient information

Contact our service in Redbridge

Redbridge Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service (EWMHS)
The Grove, Specialist Community Health Services for Children and Young People
Grove Road
Chadwell Heath

The Grove Tel:   03003001618

Tel: 0300 555 1182
Email:  (for referrals only)



Referrals will be accepted from parents/guardians, GPs, and other professionals in health, education and social care.

Referrals can be emailed using the single referral form through single point of access (SPA). Please refer to the For clinicians page for more information.

To download referral form: Redbridge Specialist Children's Service Referral Form.doc  

Opening Times: 9.00 am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday