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Digital technology paves the way for instant counselling and emotional wellbeing support to young people

Young people aged 11-18 in the Vale of York can now access Kooth, a website offering free online counselling and emotional wellbeing support.

Kooth gives young people instant access to emotional and wellbeing advice and support whenever and whenever they need it. It incorporates self-help articles and online tools such as a mood tracker, as well as professional online therapy and moderated peer-to-peer forums.

The Kooth service has been commissioned by the CCG’s local mental health provider Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) as part of its commitment to provide early mental health guidance and support through digital channels.

The service is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and provides a safe environment where young people can chat anonymously and in confidence with qualified counsellors, who are online from 12-noon until 10pm on weekdays and from 6pm until 10pm, 365 days a year.

Digital technology is a daily part of people’s lives now, especially for children and young people. They expect to be able to go online to get instant access to the help and support they need.

Denise Nightingale, the CCG’s Executive Director for Mental Health and Complex Care said: “I’m delighted that our mental health provider is offering this service to local young people.

“A great feature of the service is that they can register on Kooth without having to provide personal details such as their name or address, providing a safe and non-judgemental place for them to talk, connect and chat with others and know they are not alone.”

The Kooth service will complement TEWV’s existing care provision. The online counsellors are fully qualified and experienced and where necessary will signpost children and young people to wider support available, as well as having the ability, when information is provided to them, to refer them directly on to other services if they are needed.

The service is available online at www.kooth.com.

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