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Safe online mental health support for children and young people

Children and young people in Cheshire now have access to free, safe online mental health and wellbeing support in response to Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Online mental health and wellbeing service Kooth, delivered by XenZone, has been commissioned by NHS Cheshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) in direct response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Kooth is accessible to all 11 to 18-year-olds across the county, with no referrals, waiting lists or thresholds to meet.

Dr Ian Hulme, the CCG's clinical lead for mental health, said: "Kooth is an accredited service providing expert mental health and wellbeing support to young people across Cheshire. Our investment in the service recognises that many young people have experienced isolation during lockdown and have perhaps not known where to turn for support.

"Kooth offers not only anonymous one-to-one support from counsellors but also an opportunity for young people to share their thoughts with their peers."

A British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy accredited service, Kooth offers 11 to 18-year-olds access to a range of online support services including one-to-one anonymous counselling sessions.

Counselling sessions are available from 12pm-10pm weekdays and 6pm-10pm weekends, and can be booked in advance or via a drop-in session.

Children and young people using the site are also able to discuss issues with their peers through online discussion boards, read and contribute to self-help content and record their feelings with journals and goal trackers.

Dr Lynne Green, Chief Clinical Officer at XenZone, said: "There has been an increase in demand for our services as children and young people struggle to adapt to loneliness and isolation under lockdown. We hope young people will use our service to help them with anything that is troubling them through this crisis and beyond."

To access Kooth, click here