News 3 December

Kooth Online Counselling Service Now Commissioned in Leeds

XenZone’s innovative online counselling and emotional well-being service, Kooth, is now available to children and young people in Leeds. The service, commissioned by NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), will give young people aged 11-18 access to free, anonymous mental health and well-being support. 

Kooth offers children and young people timely and easy access to online mental health and well-being support, giving them access to articles, moderated forums and self-help resources 24 hours a day.  This is in addition to counsellor messaging and direct one to one counselling sessions. Kooth counsellors are available between 12-noon and 10pm on weekdays, and between 6pm until 10pm on weekends, 365 days a year. The service, accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), is available anytime from any connected device and has been commissioned for an initial 12-month pilot.

Philomena Corrigan, Chief Executive at NHS Leeds CCG, said: “We are committed to improving the mental health of children and young people across the city, and feel that the service provided by XenZone will help with this. Kooth is confidential, fast, simple, free to access and available at a time that suits young people using it, and it help young people manage their emotional well-being.

“In our efforts to drive waiting times down for mental health support, we want to ensure children and young people can access mental health services that they are comfortable using. This will include digital support as well as traditional services. As more young people are spending most of their time online, and using an online service is easier for them to communicate through rather than face-to-face.”

Founder of XenZone Elaine Bousfield said, “We are thrilled to provide children and young people in Leeds with our Kooth service. Mental health support should be easily available and accessible whenever a young person needs help. We’re so glad that young people in Leeds can now access online support freely and anonymously, and look forward to working closely with local services like Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust and the CCG to improve mental health and well-being.”

As well as supporting the objectives from Future in Mind: Leeds Local Transformation Plan, which looks to improve the emotional and mental health of children and young people across the city, Kooth will also be featured on MindMate, a Leeds-based website for young people, their families and professionals who support them. MindMate helps individuals explore emotional well-being and mental health issues as well as offering information about where support is available.