News 3 October

Free online counselling now available to children of the banking community

XenZone, the UK’s digital mental health pioneer, has been commissioned by the Bank Workers Charity (BWC) to provide its flagship online counselling and wellbeing support service, Kooth, to children of current and former bank employees.

Members of the banking community will be offered Kooth for their children, giving all those aged 11-18 free 24-hour access to self-help materials as well as goal-setting and mood-tracking tools. The service, accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), also hosts moderated forums, allowing for peer-to-peer support and interactive messaging with counsellors.

In addition, children will be able to drop-in or book anonymous online counselling sessions with qualified therapists who are available on weekdays from 12pm to 10pm, and from 6pm to 10pm at weekends.

John Mallalieu, CEO at BWC, said: BWC started life as the Bank Clerks’ Orphanage Fund – created to support the children of bank workers. Whilst the need for adequate mental health support is widely recognized as necessary, actual provision is woefully inadequate with children and young people often having to wait far too long to get the support they need. Kooth provides our community with a means of getting the support they need – where, when and how they choose to access it. We exist to serve the banking community and we’re pleased to add Kooth to our ever-growing suite of services.

Elaine Bousfield, XenZone founder, said: “We are proud to be supporting the children of the banking community, and to be working with a charity that has been caring for children since the 19th century. Latest NHS statistics show one in eight people aged under 19 in England has a mental health disorder. Access remains a big issue. Kooth offers young people flexible access to support at a time and place most comfortable for them. We hope BWC’s community will benefit from the professional online support that our service provides.”

Established in 2004, Kooth now available in more than 100 NHS clinical commissioning group (CCG) areas.