News 3 June

XenZone’s Online Mental Health Services Now Available to Everyone Over 11 Years Old on Isle of Man

Digital mental health pioneer, XenZone, has been commissioned by the Isle of Man Government to provide online mental health support to every child over the age of 11 and every young person and adult on the island. The commission gives those residents free access to XenZone’s BACP-accredited Kooth and Qwell online counselling and emotional well-being services, 365 days a year.

Neither service has a waiting list or thresholds to meet to qualify for support.

Established in 2004 and available in more than 100 clinical commissioning group (CCG) areas in England and Wales, Kooth provides children and young people aged 11-18 access to anonymous online support from any connected device. Young people can access one-to-one counselling sessions with a qualified counsellor from 12-noon until 10pm on weekdays, and from 6pm until 10pm on weekends. They can also access self-help materials, moderated forums, goal setting tools and live messaging with a qualified counsellor. Kooth online forums address issues ranging from exam stress and bullying to self-harm and suicide ideation.

Qwell provides adults with support for their mental health through an online peer-to-peer community, psycho-educational materials and counsellor messaging support. Adults can drop-in or book one-to-one online chat sessions with experienced counsellors from 12-noon until 10pm on weekdays and from 6pm until 10pm on weekends.

Both Kooth and Qwell will integrate with existing local services, giving residents choice and flexibility in how they access support.

Peter Leahy, Programme Manager for Department of Health and Social Care, Isle of Man Government Technology Services, said: “We commissioned XenZone as we required a trusted provider of both children’s and adult online counselling services. This was driven by the need to improve our ability to provide early intervention support for people on our island with mental health issues and to engender an environment where mental health issues can be discussed without the fear of being stigmatised. XenZone were the leaders in this field and offered the full range of services that we required.”

Elaine Bousfield, XenZone founder, said, “Mental health support should be free and readily available for all individuals. Having both Kooth and Qwell commissioned in the Isle of Man allows people to have continued support throughout childhood, transitioning to adulthood and beyond. We hope that our services will help as many people as possible to get help for their mental health and emotional wellbeing.”