A new online service that provides free and anonymous mental health and wellbeing support to young people in Sefton is now available.
The service, commissioned by Sefton Council, NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG is provided by Kooth, an online counselling and emotional wellbeing platform for children and young people. It is aimed at those aged 11 to 18 years and offers online counselling, self help materials and a safe online community for young people 365 days a year.
The service has been launched following feedback from young people who said they would like to see a digital solution in addition to existing local services. The site is available 24 hours a day with one-to-one counselling sessions with a qualified counsellor on hand from 12noon until 10pm on weekdays, and from 6pm until 10pm at weekends.
Councillor John Joseph Kelly, Sefton Council cabinet member for children, schools and safeguarding, said “We are delighted that Kooth is now available in Sefton. All children and young people should have access to mental health support when they need it. Being able to access good advice, guidance and support via mobile phone, tablet or computer is a great way to help make sure that children and young people can develop positive mental wellbeing.”
Fiona Taylor, chief officer at the CCGs in Sefton, said: “We are proud to be involved with Kooth, it will enhance support for young people with mental health issues in Sefton. We need services such as this to be easily accessible and available at a time when people need it most and this ticks all the boxes. We do think it helps being anonymous as some find it hard to speak face to face, this is ideal for people who are perhaps nervous about reaching out and we really do hope it helps them.”
Elaine Bousfield, from Kooth, said: “We are delighted that we are now able to provide our support and counselling service to young people in Sefton. Digital mental health services like Kooth are beneficial to young people as they are anonymous and free from the stigma some individuals face. We hope through the new commission more young people will seek help for their mental health and wellbeing.”
Kooth, accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, also offers peer-to-peer support, an online magazine, access to moderated forums and goal setting and mood tracking tools from any connected device.
You can find out more about the service here: www.kooth.com