Off The Record Twickenham Logo
020 8744 1644

Parents’ Page

OTR counselling services are subject to disruption and cancellation.
Click here for latest updates & support (17/3/20)


Phone: 116 123
24/7, 365 days a year

Parent helpline: 0808 802 5544

Family Lives
Parent helpline: 0808 800 2222

Phone: 0800 068 4141
Text: 07786209697
Suicide prevention

Counselling at Off The Record is for young people who are having problems. Whether it’s depression and mental health concerns or issues with parents, friends or school, talking to a counsellor can help.

The young person needs to live, work or study in Richmond borough and be between the ages of 11-24 to be eligible for counselling here.

When a young person contacts Off The Record they can expect a friendly welcome, to be treated with respect and given support to make their own life choices. A young person can expect to be helped by a supportive and non-judgmental counsellor. Many young clients have told us that they feel happier after they have seen a counsellor and that counselling has helped them to feel better about their problems.

Contacting Off The Record

When someone contacts OTR we take basic details including availability for counselling, school and GP details (although our service is confidential and we will not contact either of these).

Phone: 020 8744 1644
Text: 07414 763293

Drop-in address: 2 Church St, Twickenham TW1 3NJ

Drop-in opening hours:

  • Tuesday 2.00pm to 8.00pm
  • Wednesday 3.30pm to 8.00pm
  • Thursday 3.30pm to 8.00pm
  • Friday 2.30pm to 6.30pm
  • Saturday 10.00am to 2.00pm

What can I do to support my child?

There are many ways that a parent can support their child, both generally and in relation to having counselling:

  • Be available to talk if your son/daughter wants to talk, but try to listen rather than give opinions.
  • Hold back from offering solutions and trust that your child can find their own solution. You can be interested and caring without intervening. Reflecting back what they say can be more supportive than making suggestions e.g. “that sounds like it was very challenging” not “why didn’t you say something back?”.
  • Be patient – life problems do not disappear overnight, particularly if they have been around for a long time – making change is challenging and can take time. It’s okay to make mistakes and get it wrong – this is an essential part of learning.
  • Having confidence in your young person’s ability to cope, and telling them you are proud of them for getting help/staying with their struggle will boost their confidence.
  • Let them know that you support them seeing a counsellor. Be understanding if they do not want to talk about what happens here
  • Focus on other aspects of life; schools, friends, sports, social etc. and point out what they are doing well. They don’t always see this themselves, and it can strengthen their coping skills.

Useful links:

See our Information & Support Directory for more online resources.

Recommended reading:

  • How to talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will talk – Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
  • How to talk so Teens will Listen and Listen so Teens will talk – Adele Faber & Elaine Mazlish
  • Raising Boys – Steve Biddulph
  • Raising Girls – Steve Biddulph
  • Feeling Like Crap: Young People and the Meaning of Self-Esteem – Nick Luxmoore

How can I support Off The Record?

The counselling service is free (though we ask those over 18 who work and can afford it, to make a contribution of up to £10 per session).

However, we are a charity and we’re very much reliant on raising yearly funding; community fundraising is a vital source of our income. If you are happy with the service and would like to make a one-off contribution we’d be very grateful; you can do this through the Donate page on our website or the donations box at OTR.

Perhaps you would like to organize a fundraising event, run a marathon or anything else – if so please do get in touch with us to talk about this.