News 4 May

Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust commissions online mental health support for young people in response to the Covid-19 crisis

  • Online mental health and wellbeing service Kooth has been commissioned in the area. It is free, safe and anonymous. 
  • Kooth is accessible to all 11-25s across the region, with no referrals, waiting lists or thresholds to meet
  • Kooth is commissioned across more than 140 other NHS areas and is seeing increased demand during the coronavirus outbreak

Kooth has been commissioned by the Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust in response to the coronavirus outbreak. The service is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and delivered by XenZone, the UK’s leading digital mental health provider. 

Kooth allows children and young people to provide each other with peer to peer support through moderated online discussion boards and the ability to contribute to self-help articles and content. Qualified counsellors are online seven days a week to provide those using the service with online counselling through chat-based messaging via drop-in or booked sessions. Young people will also be able to track their mood with a goals tracker as well as note their thoughts in an online journal. 

The Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust has commissioned Kooth in response to the Covid-19 crisis. The service will be able to provide ongoing support to over 156,000 children and young people across Norfolk. The trust hopes the service will foster a community of support for these young people especially those isolated in rural areas. 

Sir Norman Lamb, Chair of XenZone’s advisory board and former Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk said, “the need for clinically robust digital mental health services has never been more critical in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. I’m thrilled that the children and young people of Norfolk now have the opportunity to access both preventive digital mental health care and accredited online counselling. Kooth will benefit young people throughout the community, especially in isolated or hard to reach areas”.

Al Bailey, Children and Young People Transformation Manager with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are really pleased that we are now able to offer this additional resource to young people across Norfolk. Kooth is already well used across Suffolk, and has proved a helpful tool for engaging with children and young people who may otherwise find accessing services difficult.”

Dr Lynne Green, XenZone’s Chief Clinical Officer adds, “We’re very pleased that the Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Trust are looking at new and innovative ways to support their young people through this current crisis. We appreciate that many children and young people in Norfolk and surrounding areas may feel the need for an online community right now. The Kooth community will allow them to support each other through written content as well as live moderated discussions. We encourage any young person in the area to take advantage of that as well as the opportunity to speak to an online, qualified counsellor if they should need to”. 

Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust provides inpatient and community-based mental health services in both Norfolk and Suffolk.

It is also commissioned to provide in some of its localities, learning disability services, along with other specialist services including medium and low secure services and wellbeing.

Our Trust believes in recovery and wellbeing, and understands the importance of good physical health, maintaining relationships and achieving a balance between treatments and continuing an active life.

  • Formed in January 2012 following the merger of Norfolk and Waveney NHS Foundation Trust and Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust
  • NSFT is the 7th largest mental health trust in the UK, covering 3,500 square miles across Norfolk and Suffolk, including Great Yarmouth and Waveney – equivalent to 7% of the country’s landmass
  • Our Trust provides more than 100 services, in more than 20 locations, and at over 50 sites, as well as in community settings including GP practices, places of education and people’s places of residence such as care homes, places for looked after children, and people’s own homes
  • Services are offered to over 48,000 service users per annum, from a population of around 1.5 million people spanning Norfolk and Suffolk
  • Services include support for a wide range of low level and highly complex mental health and neurodevelopmental  conditions, from anxiety and depression, to ADHD and autism, schizophrenia, eating disorders, personality disorders and dementia
  • Our Trust’s Childrens, Families and Young People’s services provide care for over 10,000 young people
  • NSFT employs approx. 4,000 members of staff
  • It has around 400 inpatient beds across Norfolk and Suffolk