XenZone’s online counselling and emotional wellbeing service, Kooth, has been commissioned by the London Borough of Waltham Forest, giving young people in the area easy and free access to self-help material, community forums and counselling services.
Children and young people from 11 to 18 years’ old can find out more about mental health and seek support by registering anonymously with the site, giving them timely access to Kooth whenever they need it. Professional counsellors are available for one-to-one chat sessions from 6pm until 10pm on weekdays, and from 12noon until 10pm on weekends. Kooth, accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), also offers peer-to-peer support, live moderated forums, self-help materials, goal setting and messaging 365 days a year.
In other commissioned areas across the country, between April 2016 – April 2017, Kooth saw over 1,200 log-ins every day, most of which (71%) are out of traditional 9am-5pm hours.
Councillor for Health and Wellbeing and Voluntary Sector, Cllr Asghar said, “Promoting mental health in young people is everyone’s business and is crucial for a healthy society. Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14, and suicide is the second biggest killer among 15-29-year-olds! We therefore absolutely recognise the challenges our young people face in today’s world and the need to help them build mental resilience and invest in them early.”
“As a council, we are proud to be doing a lot of good work with our young people including our work with over 50 schools In Waltham Forest through the Healthy Schools London and Youth Health Champions programmes, to promote good physical, mental and emotional wellbeing in schools’’
“I am now very delighted to be commissioning the Kooth counselling service. This important service will support children with low to moderate level of mental and emotional need; typically, those below the threshold of receiving specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). Our 11-18 years olds can now have someone to talk to everyday of the week.”
“We all need to come together, to keep supporting our adolescents. Join our campaign for young people’s mental health this world mental health day on 10 October #WMHD18WF.”
XenZone will work with CAMHS, GPs, volunteer services, local authority children’s services and other specialist services as it integrates the service locally. It will also work with schools, colleges and other agencies to ensure those who need mental health support are aware they can access the service.
Founder of XenZone, Elaine Bousfield, said, “Online, early intervention services like Kooth can help reduce waiting times for children and young people who need support for their mental health and emotional wellbeing. Whether a young person’s issue is long or short term Kooth is available as soon as they start feeling these symptoms. We look forward to making a positive impact as many young people as possible with their mental health journeys”.