News 28 May

Sunderland’s Youth Has Free Access to Kooth Online Counselling Service

Digital health pioneer XenZone has launched its online mental health service, Kooth, in Sunderland after being commissioned by Together for Children and Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). The service will provide children and young people aged 11-18 with free, online, anonymous support for their mental health and well-being.

The service allows children and young people access one-to-one chats with a qualified counsellor. Counsellors are available from 12-noon until 10pm on weekdays and from 6pm until 10pm on weekends. Kooth also gives children and young people easy access to an online community of peer-to-peer support through self-help articles, an online magazine and moderated forums. The forums address issues ranging from exam stress to self-harm. Young people in Sunderland will be able to use the service from any connected device whenever they need support.

Jill Colbert, Chief Executive of Together for Children, said: “We know that many of our children and young people want support, advice and guidance to support their emotional health and Kooth is a fantastic way to reach them quickly and easily. Kooth is a great addition to our Early Help services and will really help the children and young people we support in Together for Children.”

Dr Ian Pattison, clinical chair from NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “We want to make sure that children and young people across Sunderland have access to the health services that are right for them. Kooth is a fantastic resource for children and young people who are going through a hard time and want to access support. It is confidential, simple to use, free to access and available in a way that is convenient to the young people using it.”

Elaine Bousfield, XenZone founder said: “Digital mental health support services like Kooth can transform how a young person is feeling; online counselling allows young people to have quick and easy access to support for their mental health with no waiting times. This can then reduce the need for specialist services as a problem is treated when it first occurs, and doesn’t escalate further than it needs to.”

Kooth is now available in over 100 Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) areas and receives more than 1,700 log-ins every day.