A new anonymous digital counselling and support service for children and young people, Kooth, is live in Coventry.
Kooth is a safe, free and confidential way for young people to access emotional wellbeing and early intervention mental health support. The service will be available to all young people across Coventry aged 11-25 years in April and will be jointly funded by the City Council and Coventry and Rugby Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Kooth.com is an award-winning and innovative online mental health and wellbeing support service, accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), which will support and complement the existing offer operated by Rise - a family of NHS-led services providing emotional wellbeing & mental health services for young people across the county. Rise already provide a well-established 24/7 telephone service providing crisis support to young people across Coventry. Kooth will deliver digital self-help resources and online counselling to further extend the local offer.
Fully trained and qualified counsellors and emotional wellbeing practitioners are available from midday to 10pm, and from 6pm to 10pm at weekends, 365 days a year to provide a much needed out-of-hours service for emotional support in an accessible way. Sessions can be booked in advance or they can drop in for one-to-one instant text-based chats.
The service also encourages peer to peer support via moderated discussion forums, and self-help through reading or submitting content. Children and young people have 24/7 access to magazines with wellbeing articles, personal experiences and tips from young people and the Kooth team, as well as giving members the opportunity to write in a daily journal to track feelings or emotions and promote a positive mental health and wellbeing.
John Gregg, Director of Children’s Services at Coventry City Council said: “I am so pleased that the city council is working with Kooth, which will provide extra support to children and young people to help them look after their mental health and wellbeing.
‘Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of children and young people is always our priority, but with the effects of the pandemic, with school closures, disruption to education and missing friends, this is even more important.
“If you are worried about a young person, I would strongly urge you to talk to the child about how they are feeling or to talk to the child’s school who will be able to signpost to the best help for them. We want to remind everyone that they matter, they are not alone and there is always support available.”
Dr Lynne Green, Kooth PLC’s Chief Clinical Officer added, “Children and young people in Coventry are now able to access free, anonymous mental health support whenever they need it. The service will help those young people already awaiting assessment and treatment, as well as provide early intervention and support to those children and young people who have worries returning to school after a year of uncertainty and interrupted learning. We are seeing an increasing need for our service and a change in presenting issues from Children and Young People as they struggle to adapt to loneliness and isolation and home relationships. We are delighted to be working alongside Coventry City Council to provide real support during this time and beyond.”
Kooth is also available to schools across Warwickshire.