11-25 year olds in Solihull can now log on to Kooth for free anonymous mental health support.
Solihull Council has commissioned XenZone’s Kooth service, giving local 11-25 year olds access to online counselling and emotional well-being support. The service, commissioned with funds from Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Local Transformation Funding, will run for an initial 18-month pilot.
Kooth is an early intervention mental health service, with no waiting lists. Self-help materials, mood tracking and goal-setting tools are available on the site at any time via any connected device. Counsellors are available from 12noon until 10pm on weekdays and from 6pm until 10pm at weekends.
Kooth will work in partnership with a number of providers, including children and young people’s mental health services (Solar), adult mental health services, social care and voluntary sector providers. Solar is provided by Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust in partnership with Barnardo’s and Autism West Midlands.
Councillor Ken Meeson, Chair of the Solihull Health and Wellbeing Board, said: “We know there is growing concern nationally that more and more children need help with their mental and emotional health. Kooth will be a valuable addition that will complement existing services and I am delighted that it will provide an important and accessible resource to which Solihull’s young people will be able to turn to when they need support.”
As part of the commission, XenZone will run assemblies and workshops at local schools. These could focus on specific problems pupils are struggling with or on recurring issues, such as emotional resilience, bullying or exam stress.
Dr Angela Brady, a GP and Solihull CCG’s Mental Health Lead, said: “We are delighted that young people in Solihull will now be able to access this invaluable service and get mental health support when they need it most, in a way which is convenient to them.”
Elaine Bousfield, chair and founder of XenZone, added: “Self-referral services like Kooth are easily accessible as well as helping to remove the stigma that some young people face in getting mental health support. We look forward to working in Solihull and making a positive impact to the lives of local children and young people.”
The Kooth counselling service can be accessed at https://kooth.com/