Following a successful 18-month long pilot, XenZone was commissioned to provide online counselling for the children and young people of Lincolnshire
Today, XenZone’s Kooth service continues to play a key role in Lincolnshire’s offer to provide support for children and young people’s mental health.
During the pilot, Lincolnshire County Council recognised that alongside low level emotional well-being concerns, some high-level issues were being presented. As the promotion of the service grew, demand followed. The Council then increased the volume of services it later commissioned, ensuring that all services for children and young people were fully embedded and widely used.
Early intervention and prevention
Kooth is now available to all 11-18 year olds (and up to the age of 25 to support those young adults who are “leaving care”) who go to school or reside in Lincolnshire and continues to tie-in with the Council’s focus on early intervention and prevention. To this end, Kooth provides drop-in or booked counselling services all year round, seven days a week.
Children and young people can also exchange messages with counsellors, join moderated peer support forums, use goal-based systems to track their progress, read and contribute to our online magazine and use a host of other therapeutic tools and programmes.
When children and young people start counselling sessions with a named counsellor, they typically identify a number of goals they want to achieve and are able to score their progress out of ten. The average increase against each goal set among users in Lincolnshire during 2016 was seven points – indicative of the success of the programme and the real benefits being felt by young people. By the close of 2016, there were more than 5,200 children and young people registered with Kooth.
“Kooth forms a key part of our focus on early intervention and prevention. The service provides help to young people with emotional well-being and mental health concerns at the earliest opportunity, reducing the escalation of need. The service is clearly valued by children and young people in Lincolnshire and quarterly case studies evidence the excellent outcomes for those interacting with the service. Kooth provides a safe, non-judgemental, therapeutic space for our young people.”
Catherine Southcott, Senior Commissioning Officer, Children’s Services, Strategic Commissioning–Commercial Services, Lincolnshire County Council