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Online mental health support for young people

Online mental health support for young people

Published by KLFM
2:05pm 25th May 2020.

Counsellors are now just the click of a mouse away in Norfolk.

Kooth is a free online service for 11 to 25-year-olds who are struggling with their mental health and can either 'drop in' or pre-book a chat session, 365 days of the year. 

It also gives young people the chance to benefit from peer support and a wide range of self-help materials, as well as contribute to moderated forums. 

It's been commissioned by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, who launched it in Suffolk in October, and are now rolling it out to Norfolk. Since then, it has been accessed 3,100 times, with 97% of users saying they would recommend it to a friend. 

Young people can use Kooth to seek support or advice on any topic they wish, from managing their feelings during the pandemic or coping with exam stress or bullying to seeking help for an eating disorder, dealing with suicidal thoughts or handling sexual abuse. They can also track their mood, as well as note their thoughts in an online journal.

Al Bailey, Children and Young People Transformation Manager with NSFT, said: 

"We are really pleased that we are now able to offer this additional resource to help young people across Norfolk and Waveney manage their feelings during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. 

"As a result of the outbreak, some young people are unable to access their usual support networks, while others may not feel comfortable talking to family members. Kooth gives them the opportunity to share their feelings confidentially with others or with a qualified counsellor so that they can receive the best support to help them deal with issues or worries. 

"Young people are often extremely comfortable with chatting online, so using this media is a fantastic way to engage with them, especially if they find more traditional ways of accessing services difficult."