• Since the start of lockdown to the end of 2020, Kooth has seen an 87% increase in adult (18+) logins compared to the same period the previous year.
  • The pandemic has led to increased rates of anxiety, concerns about family relationships , self harm and suicidal ideation.
  • Digital platforms can play a critical role in expanding access to mental health support with the right framework.
  • Traditional methods of defining outcomes and efficacy for digital mental health services are dated and do not take into account the broader social improvements of services.
  • Kooth and New Philanthropy Capital today launch a Theory of Change (ToC)    for Kooth adults is a ground-breaking movement towards defining effectiveness of online therapeutic safe spaces.

 London, February 24nd, 2021 – Kooth plc creates safe spaces, available to all, for people to access personalised mental health support anonymously. We serve as an early intervention and prevention service for mental health problems.

COVID-19 has had a marked effect on mental health across the globe. Reduced social interactions, job losses and insecurity as well as financial worries are some of the ways the pandemic has negatively impacted our mental wellbeing. Mental health services that were already overstretched are needed more than ever. At Kooth, there has been unprecedented demand for our services since the start of the pandemic. Increased adoption of digital health technology, such as apps and teletherapy, can help ensure that people who are suffering from mental health conditions are able to access the support they need in a timely manner. 

Kooth’s digital and online safe spaces are a new context different to mainstream therapy and mental health services. Whilst Kooth has used traditional measures of success the trus value of  Kooth’s platforms have not been fully examined by the academic and economic community. Kooth’s digital community and therapeutic support  does not work the same as traditional health care services or the CBT based models widely researched across the NHS. 

Kooth’s services work and make a positive difference in people, but as a new context delivering therapy, Kooth is investing to really understand how and why these services work and exactly what the true benefits are to Kooth service users.  The ToC developed with New Philanthropy Capital sets the structure to truly start answering these questions and identify a framework that will work effectively for patients and the industry.

Mental health is relevant for everybody at varying degrees. The impact of poor mental health has wide ranging impacts not only for the individual but on families, parenting, employment, crime and wide socioeconomic impacts.  The ToC helps Kooth to rewrite the concept of therapeutic outcomes for users and for governments and businesses. 

Dan Corry, CEO NPC: NPC has been using the theory of change approach for over ten years but this is the first time we have applied it to a digital mental health platform like Kooth. What has been most interesting, and also challenging, is trying to describe the range of different ways people can use Kooth – what we refer to as a ‘positive virtual ecosystem’. It has been great working with colleagues at Kooth to think this through, and to organise the underlying thinking into a clear model of how the service can support people. This should help to both better evaluate their service and achieve even more for people experiencing mental health problems”.

Aaron Sefi, Chief Research Officer, Kooth: “We are delighted to present these findings to the world that demonstrate the rich and diverse ways in which digital mental health can support people.  Too much of the narrative around mental health is focussed on the deficits, the problems to overcome.  As with physical health, we also need to understand protective factors, what enables us to cope.  The theory of change approach allows us to look at our therapeutic services in this way, and provides a blueprint for how to provide an evidence base for this vital approach.


About Kooth

We are the UK’s leading online mental health platform. Our mission is to provide accessible and safe spaces for everyone to achieve better mental health. Our online 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 three services are:

  • Kooth: for children and young persons
  • Qwell: for adults
  • Kooth Work: for organisations

Kooth is commissioned in 77% of the NHS’s clinical commissioning group areas across the country. It 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. 

Kooth Work is a corporate service, aimed specifically at employers to support the wellbeing of their employees, providing confidential and anonymous access to a wellbeing community, counselling, content and self-help tools.  Kooth Work provides valuable, anonymous insights into the wellbeing of the workforce so that employers can identify specific areas of improvement for their wellbeing strategy.

Qwell 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.