News 15 May

Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group extends online mental health and wellbeing service Kooth to 10-13 year olds in response to Covid-19

  • Kooth is a safe, anonymous service and is already available for free to 14-25 year olds in the area. This extension means that the service is now available to ALL young people aged between 10 – 25
  • Kooth, from XenZone – the UK’s largest digital mental health provider – is commissioned in 85% of the NHS clinical commissioning group (CCG) areas across the country.
  • XenZone has seen an increased demand for digital mental health support from children and young people across the UK due to coronavirus. 

Liverpool CCG has extended its commissioning of digital mental health service Kooth to include 10-13 year olds across all 30 wards of Liverpool City. Kooth, accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, does not require a referral, nor does it have thresholds for support or waiting lists. 

Children and young people across Liverpool can now use the service to receive emotional support from a qualified practitioner through an online chat system. This support can be accessed through a drop-in service or booked sessions. Those using Kooth can also gain support from self-help content and activities, online discussion boards along with the ability to record their thoughts and feelings with journals and goal trackers. 

Liverpool CCG’s decision to extend the service to 10-13 year olds is in direct response to the Covid-19 crisis. The commissioning group has noted that extending the service will provide a full support offering to that age group across the area, including support to Year 6 children transitioning into secondary school in September. 

Lisa Nolan, Programme Manager for Children and Young People’s Mental Health at NHS Liverpool CCG said: “Improving children and young people’s mental health is a big priority for Liverpool CCG and it is a really sportive step forwards that the Kooth service will now be extended to support children from the age of 10 years old –  especially during this challenging time. 

“The ability for Kooth as an online platform to be able to quickly expand to help us meet additional demand for mental health support at this time is something that we and other local partners really welcome, and we anticipate this service being of real benefit to lots of children, young people and families in our area because it can be easily accessed from home via any mobile or device.”

“It’s great that the service will now be available to many more children and young people, but especially for those 10/11 year olds transitioning from primary to secondary school which can be a particularly anxious time.

Dr Lynne Green, XenZone’s chief clinical officer adds, “We’re pleased to hear that 10-13 year olds across Liverpool are now able to benefit from Kooth, alongside the 14-25 year olds already using the service. Our recent data has shown that the current lockdown has increased levels of sadness and depression in young people by a sharp 170%.. We hope the 10-13 year olds will access the peer to peer support on offer in Kooth, enabling them to connect with other children and young people who may be feeling similar to them.” 

About Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group

NHS Liverpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is responsible for planning and buying most NHS services for the people of Liverpool, including the care you receive at hospitals and in community clinics. This process is known as commissioning. Since April 2015 we have also had responsibility for GP services in Liverpool. 

The CCG is a membership organisation which includes all Liverpool GP practices. Our constitution sets out our duties and how we make decisions. You might also want to read about our vision, values and objectives.

We work in close partnership with those involved in providing care in the city, such as local hospitals, and Liverpool City Council, to make sure that NHS services meet the needs of our population. One of the tools we use to do this is the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA), which sets out current and future health and wellbeing priorities.