News 28 May

11-18 year olds across Gloucestershire now have access to free, safe online mental health and wellbeing support from Kooth in response to Covid-19

  • Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group have commissioned Kooth from XenZone, the UK’s leading provider of digital mental health support
  • Kooth is accessible to all 11-18s across the county, with no referrals, waiting lists or thresholds to meet
  • Kooth is commissioned across more than 140 other NHS areas and is seeing increased demand during the coronavirus outbreak

Kooth, a free, safe and anonymous mental health and wellbeing service for young people has been commissioned across Gloucestershire to support the country through the coronavirus crisis and beyond. There are no waiting lists, referrals or thresholds to access the service, which is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Kooth will allow 11-18 year-olds across Gloucestershire to access a range of emotional wellbeing support, offering early intervention to those that are experiencing a range of issues throughout the Coronavirus crisis. Young people using the site will be able to discuss issues with peers through online discussion boards, record their feelings with journals and goal trackers and read and contribute to self-help articles. They will also have the ability to chat with qualified online counsellors through instant messaging via a drop-in service or pre-booked sessions.

Gloucestershire County Council and Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group have commissioned Kooth as a provision of support as part of the local response to Covid-19. This is to ensure young people receive early support, information and counselling throughout the crisis. The team commissioning the service has also recently commissioned XenZone’s emotional wellbeing service for adults, Qwell, as part of their local response to coronavirus.

Cllr Tim Harman, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Communities, said: “It’s totally normal to feel stressed or anxious whatever age you are, especially if you’re not able to see your friends or go about your normal routine. Whether you’re feeling worried about something related to coronavirus or something completely different, please reach out for support. It’s good to talk about your worries before they get bigger.”

Dr Lynne Green, XenZone’s Chief Clinical Officer added, “We’re really pleased to see the teams in Gloucestershire work hard to ensure everyone in the county has access to free, safe mental health support in response to the crisis. We’ve seen a staggering increase in young people accessing Kooth across the South West presenting issues with sleep, suicidal thoughts and abuse. We hope young people in Gloucestershire will use Kooth to assist them with anything worrying them throughout this crisis and beyond.”