Free online mental health support service launched to help children and young people in Hull, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire

A free online mental health and emotional wellbeing support service has been launched to help children and young people living in Hull, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

People aged between 11 and 25 in these areas can now register to use Kooth, a free, anonymous online counselling and emotional wellbeing service which can be accessed using a computer, smartphone or tablet device.

Children and young people can access Kooth, which is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, to receive one-on-one online sessions with qualified counsellors, receive and provide peer-to-peer support through moderated online forums, and read and contribute articles.

Kooth can also be used to keep an online journal and track your wellbeing via an interactive goal tracker. There are no waiting lists or thresholds for use, so people can use the service as soon as they register.

Kooth – created by XenZone, the UK’s largest provider of online mental health services – has been commissioned for use in Hull, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire by the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership.

The Partnership is made up of NHS organisations, local councils, health and care providers and voluntary and community organisations, which are working together to improve health and care across Humber, Coast and Vale – an area which includes the cities of Hull and York and large rural areas across East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.

Michele Moran, Chair of the Humber, Coast and Vale Mental Health Partnership Board, said: “We are really pleased to announce that Kooth is now available to people aged between 11 and 25 in Hull, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire. This early intervention and prevention service allows children and young people struggling with their mental health to receive prompt help and support when they need it.

“At a time of heightened stress and anxiety due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, it’s really important that we take steps to manage our mental health and emotional wellbeing, and also look out for others. We encourage parents, carers and teachers to promote Kooth to the children and young people in their lives and support them to access this safe online service.”

Dr Amy Oehring, NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group’s GP Lead for Children, said: “The launch of Kooth in these areas is welcome news as it will provide timely help and support to those children and young people who need it; and will hopefully reduce some of the anxiety they might feel when attending face-to-face appointments, while helping them to build their mental resilience and self-confidence too.

“If you think a child or young person is struggling with their mental health, but feel you need further help, you can always contact your GP to talk about what additional support and guidance is available.”

Dr Lynne Green, XenZone’s Chief Clinical Officer, said: “We urge the young people of Hull, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire to make the most out of Kooth. The articles and forums are a great way for young people to take a preventative approach to their wellbeing and learn from others who may be in similar positions, while our trained counsellors are there for them when they need it.”

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