News 4 February

Kooth Online Counselling Service to Offer Free Support to all Young People Across South East London

South East London

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) covering Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth and Southwark follow neighbouring Lewisham in commissioning Kooth

XenZone’s online counselling and emotional wellbeing service, Kooth, has been commissioned right across South East London, offering all children and young people aged 11-19 access to free, anonymous mental health support.

Kooth is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and is available online, offering free and safe access to self-help materials, mood-tracking, online journal and goal setting tools and a moderated online community of peers. Young people can also contribute to the Kooth magazine and share their experiences, or take part in moderated online peer-to-peer forums.

Qualified counsellors are on hand on weekdays from mid-day until 10pm and from 6pm until 10pm at weekends for booked or drop-in one-to-one therapy.

The service, available in Lewisham since 2017, has been commissioned by South East London’s remaining Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) boroughs; Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth and Southwark.

Dr Lesley French, Clinical Director for the Children’s Directorate of Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Kooth is a fantastic resource for children and young people who are going through a hard time and want to access support online and talk to someone quickly and anonymously. It’s already helping young people in Lewisham and I’m very pleased that it will now be available across the whole of south east London.”

Andrew Bland, south east London STP Lead, said: “The rollout of Kooth across south east London is great news. The service will complement those already delivered by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and the local voluntary sector to improve young people’s mental health and well-being.”

XenZone’s Founder, Elaine Bousfield, said: “Mental health support should be easily accessible and available whenever a young person needs help and we are thrilled to provide more children and young people in South East London access to Kooth. We look forward to working with South East London CCGs and local services on the ground to improve children and young people’s well-being and mental health.”

A key ambition of the local NHS Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) and part of its ‘Our Healthier South East London’ (OHSEL) initiative is the improvement of mental health support for children and young people.