News 12 February

Out of Hours, Anonymous Online Counselling Offered to Students at Leeds Beckett University

Digital mental health pioneer XenZone has been commissioned by Leeds Beckett University to provide Kooth Student, its free and anonymous online mental health and emotional well-being support service, to its 28,000 students.

The service, which is part of Leeds Beckett University’s broader student support package, has been introduced in recognition of the pressures faced by today’s students and the increased demand for mental health support across UK universities.

Kooth Student will provide online evidence-based tools for students to support their mental health, as well as giving them access to experienced counsellors who are available in and out of term-time.

The decision to offer the service comes after the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) entered its second year working with Kooth Student, having launched the service in 2017. Take-up has been significant and feedback consistently positive, with 94% of those using Kooth Student saying they would recommend the service to a friend.

Kooth Student offers access to mental health support with no waiting lists. As an online resource, it contains a rich library of self-help articles, which students can read or contribute themselves. Messaging is also available, which allows students to send and receive messages directly with a qualified and experienced counsellor. In addition, the site offers goal setting, journal writing and mood tracking tools.

Students can also drop-in or book live online ‘chats’ with experienced therapists; sessions are available from mid-day until 10pm on weekdays and from 6pm until 10pm at weekends, while content on the site remains accessible anytime.

Priscilla Preston, Director of Student Services said, “Students often seek support out of hours and at weekends and we are delighted to be able to offer this service to our students alongside our campus based face-to-face and online services.”

Kooth Student will fit into Universities UK framework on Mental Health.

XenZone founder Elaine Bousfield said, “Not everyone has a positive experience at University. It’s important that students have easy access to the right support and can choose how they want to receive help.  Kooth Student allows students to get help in and out of University term time without the waiting times or stigma that often comes with asking for help.”