News 10 August

Catch 22 and XenZone launch new digital pilots to help support the mental health of victims of crime as a direct response to COVID 19

  • XenZone will support victims and families experiencing domestic and sexual abuse via the Victim First service 
  • Catch 22 and XenZone are introducing two initiatives to provide mental health support to crime and domestic violence victims 
  • Emotional abuse is up 59% and physical abuse is up %49 among children and young adults

London, UK, 04 August 2020 – XenZone, the Company that runs and, the UK’s largest digital mental health platforms, and Catch 22,  a social enterprise promoting resilience and aspiration to people and communities in the UK have joined forces to launch additional support services to victims of crimes.

These new initiatives launched on August 1st 2020 are :

  • Hertfordshire Police & Crime Commissioner and Catch 22’s Beacon service have launched two pilot projects aimed at providing emotional and practical support to both crime and domestic abuse/sexual violence victims in Hertfordshire. 
  • Catch22 will deliver the Victim First service across Leicestershire via the Kooth and Qwell platform. This project will support victims and families experiencing domestic abuse and sexual violence and is available to children, young people and adults. This initiative has been funded by the Police and Crime commissioner, in recognition of the increase in domestic abuse during the lockdown period.

Both organisations have seen an increase in presenting issues relating to crime, domestic violence and sexual abuse during lockdown. Among children and young people, emotional abuse was up by 59% compared to the same period last year. Sexual abuse and physical abuse was up by 49% and 43% respectively over the year. Among the adult population, there has been a 26% increase in people presenting with issues around emotional abuse issues since this time last year.  Domestic abuse amongst adults has shown a 12% increase over the past year.   

Kooth and Qwell, both accredited British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy services, offers users access to a range of online support services including peer-to-peer forums which are safe and pre-moderated and one-on-one anonymous counselling sessions. Sessions are available from 12pm to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10pm on weekends and can be booked in advance or through a drop in session. Services can be accessed without any waiting lists, thresholds or referrals.  

“As trials are pushed and the strain is felt by the victims we support, digital services are needed more than ever to address the demand”, said Emma Jones, Service Manager for Catch22’s Beacon victim service in Hertfordshire

“By offering alternative types of support like XenZone’s digital counselling service, we can address the significant gap of counselling services for domestic and sexual violence victims, and for witnesses awaiting to give evidence at trial. This will have such a positive impact on the Hertfordshire individuals we support.”

Dan Mills-Da’Bell, MBACP (Accred.) Head of Safeguarding, XenZone added: “We are really pleased to be working in partnership with the Police and Crime Commissioners and Catch 22 on these pilots.  Such close proximity to each other, and within an international crisis where emotional intensity can only be heightened, domestic violence is given more fuel than the situation ordinarily would have. 

“We all have so many needs that need meeting, and are usually met by a community of people in different settings. When those needs are sought to be met by just those living at home, this can increase tensions and the potential for violent situations. Often school, work, or social activities, can be a respite from abusive and violent situations, but right now, there is no respite, so the intensity and regularity of violence increases, and our most vulnerable bear the brunt of this.” 


About Kooth & Qwell

We are the UK’s leading online mental health platform. Our mission is to provide accessible and safe spaces for everyone to achieve better mental health. Our online platform is clinically robust and accredited to provide a range of therapeutic support and interventions. All our services are predicated on easy access to make early intervention and prevention a reality. 

Our three services are:

  • Kooth: for children and young persons
  • Kooth Student: for university students
  • Qwell: for adults

Kooth is commissioned in 85% of the NHS’s clinical commissioning group areas across the country. It is a fully safeguarded and pre-moderated community with a library of peer and professional created content, alongside access to experienced online counsellors. There are no thresholds for support and no waiting lists. Currently, Kooth sees over 4,000 logins a day. 

Kooth Student is aimed at university students and is commissioned by three UK universities. 

Qwell operates across distinct locations and serves specific cohorts, including parents, teachers, victims of crime and those who have suffered from or continue to experience domestic violence. It is also offered as a benefit by a number of corporate organisations delivering anonymous digital mental health support services to employees.