Category Archives: Blogs

Our Thoughts to the Tree

XenZone’s online mental health support service for young people, Kooth, has partnered with the touring production of A Monster Calls. Many of its staff members are attending dates throughout the tour to support and promote the service. We asked them for their personal response to this production, which explores themes such as grief, sadness, anger, […]

How a Surrey School is Supporting Students’ Mental Health

We spoke to Anna Hutchings, head of PHSE at Gordon’s School in Surrey, about student mental health and wellbeing – and the role the school sees for digital support services like Kooth. What mental health support do you have in place for students at Gordon’s School? This year we’ve bought in a designated school mentor. […]

Emotional Education: The Role of Schools in Promoting Student Wellbeing

Why learning about emotions is as important as academic attainment

Body Image: How to Focus on the Positives

It’s tough to persuade a 14-year old that there is no such thing as a perfect body and that not everyone is happy with their physical appearance. Especially when they’re surrounded by wall-to-wall body perfection on Instagram. As activist Natasha Devon wrote, “Young people are now utterly desensitised to the sight of photoshopped and filtered […]

How to Help Keep Young People Alive to the Risks of Online Exploitation

An interview with Anne-Marie Yates, Learning and Development Lead in XenZone’s Clinical Team Is social media – or being online – risky for young people? Social media and gaming is a huge part of children’s and young people’s lives – and of course adult’s lives too. It can be a great space to meet friends, […]

Creating a Safeguarded and Supported Online Experience

“Thank you for welcoming me back, actually I was really touched by the amount of people who wanted to make sure I was ok. It’s a brilliant community here” Young person on Kooth In 2018, the Kooth team spent more than 4,000 hours in schools and the community across England and Wales encouraging young people […]

Counselling Childhood Exploitation

As an online counsellor, I’m humbled by how young people who are victims of childhood exploitation find the resolve to reach out for help and explore their experiences. Offering an anonymous space for them to do this means more victims can be heard. Often with childhood exploitation there is so much chaos and uncertainty that […]

Offering Trust and Empowerment for Exploited Young People

On National CSE Awareness Day, I reflect on the children and young people who need our help and who we support during incredibly traumatic times. For them, understandably, trust is paramount. They need to feel trust with our online team; our staff need time to build relationships with vulnerable people who may find any degree […]

Prioritising Sleep for Better Mental Health

Neil Garrity, a former nurse in the NHS and long-time counsellor at XenZone, offers his experience and insight in helping young people and adults to view sleep as less of a luxury and more of necessity. It might feel like there is a growing expectation that we should be awake and alert for longer. Left […]

Young People Deserve the Right Support for Eating Disorders

XenZone’s clinical director Dr Lynne Green, a consultant clinical psychologist, describes some of the issues associated with eating disorders and looks to digital as a way of giving young people with eating disorders greater personalisation, access and control over their treatment as part of an integrated care pathway. Counterintuitive though it may sound, eating disorders […]

Mental Health: to have choice, we need real options

There is no doubt that extending the right of choice when it comes to mental health is an important step towards parity of esteem with physical health. Involving people as much as possible in decision-making to find the way of working that’s most helpful to them is critical. For many people accessing mental health services, […]

The Digital Path to Prevention: Highlights from the NHS Long Term Plan

The flurry of news reports in response to last week’s release of the NHS Long-Term Plan has all but died down. As we sift through the text of a wide-ranging strategy, we’ve been considering the direction of travel for an organisation older than most of us and about to enter a new digital future. Some […]