North East Lincolnshire Council Commissions Kooth to Provide Mental Health Support for Children and Young People
01.02.17: XenZone, pioneer of online counselling and support, will now be providing online counselling for children and young people in North East Lincolnshire through its Kooth service. Free year-round support from qualified professional counsellors will be available to those aged 11-25, accessible via a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone.
The anonymous, stigma-free service offers immediate support to users, straight after registration; there are no waiting lists, which helps prevent the escalation of concerns.
Lauren King, Commissioning Lead (Women’s and Children’s Health) North East Lincolnshire Council, said: “We want to provide services that help young people manage their emotional wellbeing concerns at the earliest opportunity before these problems escalate resulting in the possible need for more specialist service intervention. Kooth is confidential, fast, simple, free to access and available at a time suited to the young people using it.”
The pilot contract comes as North East Lincolnshire Council restates its commitment to ensuring that services are in place which identify and manage the emotional and mental health needs of children and young people.
Roni Swift, Divisional Manager Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with XenZone. This service will benefit the children and young people of North East Lincolnshire immensely.”
Kooth offers young people online chat and messaging with professional counsellors up until 10pm 365 days a year. They also have access to useful and practical articles, self-help documents and pre-moderated message board forums where they can discuss important issues relevant to them. The site is staffed by qualified and experienced Kooth counsellors.
According to XenZone’s Regional Service Manager in North East Lincolnshire, Kaljit Johal: “We believe everyone should have free access to mental health services at the point of need. There are many children and young people who don’t need to access Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), but need support for what may be short-term mental health problems. These are not insignificant issues and may affect their psychological and emotional well-being. It’s hoped Kooth can help build resilience so that issues don’t manifest into adulthood.”
Kooth will be fully integrated into the healthcare system and will have close links with North East Lincolnshire CAMHS run by Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Children and young people who need more specialist mental health support will be referred to CAMHS to offer a seamless service.
The online counselling service has been commissioned following the Government’s Future in Mind Strategy and the development of the local transformation plan.
To arrange an interview with XenZone about Kooth, please contact Lex Young via email or on 020 345 70537.