Kooth will provide online counselling and support to children and young people aged 11-19 in Hillingdon and for students at Harrow and Uxbridge College. The aim of the website is to tackle youth mental health issues in the borough and is available from 9 July 2018.
Many young people lean towards the internet to receive support and advice which prompted the development of the website. Kooth provides support early, with professional counselling, peer-to-peer forums, self-help articles and mood tracking tools to help set personal goals.
Young people can message a counsellor or schedule in live text-based chat sessions. Kooth is fully accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and is available 365 days a year, from 12-noon until 10pm on weekdays and 6pm until 10pm on weekends.
Caroline Morison, Chief Operating Officer for NHS Hillingdon CCG said, “Young people’s mental health is our top priority. The CCG are looking to work with as many local partners as possible – local councillors, GPs, local schools, children and young people services, among others, to spread the word and ensure that young people get help early.”
Elaine Bousfield, founder and chair for Xenzone who developed Kooth, said, “All children and young people should have free access to mental health support when they need it. Children and young people self-refer to Kooth which eliminates long waiting times and stigma they may feel when asking for help. We hope it is used by children and young people in Hillingdon who need support with their mental health.”
Kooth is commissioned in over 80 CCG areas. Between April 2016 and April 2017, more than 1,200 children and young people logged in to Kooth every day; 71% of these were out of office hours (office hours defined as 9am – 5pm).
To find out more about Kooth, please visit www.kooth.com.
Notes to editors:
- Kooth is provided by Xenzone and commissioned by Hillingdon CCG.
- The newly commissioned service will work closely with existing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Local Authority Children’s Services, GPs and other children and young people support services to ensure as many young people know about the support available to them.