- Young people in Aberdeenshire to benefit from free access to digital mental health platform Kooth
- Available for free to 10-18 year olds, with no referrals or thresholds to meet
London, UK, June 21 2021: Aberdeenshire Council has commissioned Kooth to provide digital counselling and support to children and young people (CYP) aged between 10 and 18 years old. Aberdeenshire Council becomes the first Health Board in Scotland to offer Kooth to young people.
The service is being funded by a Scottish Government grant to support the development of community mental health services for children and young people. It is part of a joint venture between Aberdeenshire Council, Aberdeenshire Health and Social Care Partnership, Police Scotland, NHS Grampian and third sector partners including Aberdeenshire Voluntary Action.
The launch of Kooth in Aberdeenshire comes as new data from Public Health Scotland shows that the number of young people waiting more than a year to start specialist mental health treatment has risen to a record high. A total of 2,012 young people were waiting to start treatment at the end of March 2021, almost triple the number in March 2020, when the figure stood at 695.
Kooth, the UK’s leading provider of digital mental health services, offers a full spectrum of mental health support including one-on-one, anonymous sessions with fully trained and qualified counsellors and emotional wellbeing practitioners. Counselling sessions run from midday to 10pm on weekdays, and from 6pm to 10pm at weekends and can be booked in advance or accessed as a drop-in instant text-based chats.The option to read and/or contribute to Kooth’s mental health and wellbeing magazine (all content pre-moderated) and receive and provide peer-to-peer support through moderated discussion forums is also available.
Kooth can also be used by CYP to keep an online journal and track wellbeing via an interactive goal tracker. Available 24/7, the service is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), and can be accessed using a computer, smartphone or tablet device. There are no waiting lists or thresholds and the service can be used once they have registered.
GIRFEC Strategic Group Chair and Director of Education and Children’s Services for Aberdeenshire Council, Laurence Findlay explains: “Kooth offers an alternative form of support for those who perhaps aren’t ready to speak in person yet and/or wish to remain anonymous.
“We know, broadly speaking, that many women and girls are experiencing higher levels of anxiety and poorer wellbeing than was the case prior to the pandemic. Unfortunately, it’s still the case that many boys and men can find it hard to talk about how they are feeling, and sometimes this can make it more difficult for them to access support. These digital mental health services offer an alternative form of help which will appeal to many people.”
Dr Lynne Green, Chief Clinical Officer at Kooth Plc added: “The past twelve months have upended all of our lives in some way, for many negatively affecting mental health. Digital mental health services empower young people to access immediate and anonymous support as soon as they need it, whether that’s joining one of our live discussion forums, reading or scheduling a one-to-one counselling session with one of experienced therapists. Our message to everyone is that there’s no problem too big or small that we can’t try to help you with. We are proud to have been given the opportunity to shape mental health services for children and adolescents in Aberdeenshire.”
About Kooth plc:
Kooth is the UK’s leading digital mental health platform. Our mission is to provide accessible and safe spaces for everyone to achieve better mental health. Our platform is clinically robust and accredited to provide a range of therapeutic support and interventions. All our services are predicated on easy access to make early intervention and prevention a reality.
Our four services are:
- Kooth: for children and young persons
- Kooth Student: for university and higher-education students
- Kooth: for Adults
- Kooth Work: for employees
Kooth is a fully safeguarded and pre-moderated community with a library of peer and professional created content, alongside access to experienced online counsellors. There are no thresholds for support and no waiting lists. Currently, Kooth sees over 4,000 logins a day.
For adults, Kooth operates across distinct locations and serves specific cohorts, including parents, teachers, victims of crime, and those who have suffered from or continue to experience domestic violence. It is also offered as a benefit by a number of corporate organisations delivering anonymous digital mental health support services to employees.
Kooth is the only digital mental health provider to hold a UK-wide accreditation from the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).
Kooth recently launched the #DontDoItAlone campaign alongside five well known influencers to share the importance of not dealing with mental wellbeing alone. You can view the campaign here.