Wealthy residents in one of London’s richest boroughs are being asked to pay more towards mental health services for young people.

Richmond Council confirmed the plan along with its annual budget at a full council meeting on March 5.

Councillor Robin Brown, cabinet member for finance, said: “I’ve been a school governor, and I’ve seen it in my own family. For kids growing up these days, it can be really tough.

“We are working with schools and they are dealing with young people who are self-harming, dealing with depression and eating disorders – both boys and girls.

“School counsellors can be overwhelmed.”

The residents, whose properties fall in the highest council tax bands (G and H), will be asked to give money to a council-run charity, with that money going to Richmond Mind and Off the Record.

The latter currently works mostly in Twickenham, but money will help it expand throughout the borough.

Conservative Westminster Council tried a similar approach of asking wealthy residents for more cash.

They asked for people to voluntarily double their council tax contributions to about £800 – although this is still about half of a band D property’s council tax in Richmond, and less than a third of band G or H – and they raised about £500,000.

Cllr Brown said: “I think that even if we are going to help a few young people get a start in their lives it will be really worthwhile.

“Every single young person that we help could also mean relieving a family in distress, because these things impact on families in so many ways.

“Poor mental health can have a knock-on effects on a young person’s life chances. It can be really disruptive in terms of their future.

“A lot of the time, people don’t quite know where to get help.

“NHS mental health services are overloaded, and often only deal with severe cases of distress or people in danger.

“By that point there will have been a history of impact on schooling and so on.

“So if we help, it will have been a very worthwhile thing to have done.”