• Kent Football Association and Kooth join forces for Mental Health Champion Network programme for children and young people
  • Mental Health Champion Network programme will help identify signs of poor mental health and will support children and young people with digital services
  • 50 Mental Health Champions to receive training and support from Kooth
  • Kooth has seen an increased demand for digital mental health support from children and young people across the UK during the coronavirus outbreak

London, October 29th 2020  Kooth, a free, safe and anonymous mental health and wellbeing service for children and young people, has joined forces with Kent Football Association to help launch a Mental Health Champion programme.  Kooth is the UK ’s leading digital mental health provider and is available to over five million children and young people across England. 

Supported by Kooth, Kent Football Association have committed to training individuals across their clubs and leagues to recognise the signs of poor mental health, help eradicate barriers to seeking support and carry out signposting to professional bodies. Up to 50 Mental Health Champions will have access to the free training and support sessions.

The pilot stage of the Mental Health Champion programme will focus around providing support for young people. Subsequent stages of the programme include rolling support out to the adult players, club and league officials and match officials.

Recent data from Kooth has shown the psychological toll the Covid-19 pandemic is taking on children and young people. It is particularly concerning to note that in the past year, the number of children and young people presenting with suicidal thoughts has increased by 21%, those experiencing school and college issues have increased by 100% and those experiencing sleep difficulties have by 123%.

Kooth, a British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy accredited service, provides a safe and non-judgemental place for young people to talk, connect and chat with others and know they are not alone. They have instant access to self-help materials, live moderated discussion forums and tools such as online journals and goal trackers. Young people can also contribute written pieces of work reflecting their own experiences, as well as accessing drop-in or booked sessions with professional counsellors from 12pm-10pm weekdays and 6pm-10pm weekends.

Luke Baker, Football Development Officer for Youth Football in Kent, said: “We are delighted to team up with Kooth to launch the biggest Mental Health project of any County FA in the country. With the potential to reach around 40,000 young people this is a pioneering programme that aims to ensure every young person in Kent Football is aware of the support available with their mental health.

The statistics of young people with poor mental health are shocking, and as the governing body of football within Kent, we are ready to step forward and use our beautiful game as a tool to signpost those that need support. We are passionate that we can make a real difference to those that need it by working with Kooth while funding and creating our new network of 50 Mental Health Champions.”

Dr. Lynne Green, Chief Clinical Officer, Kooth added: “We’re pleased to be partnering with Kent Football Association on this important pilot project. It’s never been more important to provide safe and confidential help to those struggling with their emotional health and wellbeing.  

Kooth’s training will help the Champions develop the skills needed to recognise the tell-tale signs and symptoms of someone struggling with a mental health condition and signpost them to professional support; as well as promote positive/resilience behaviours that can help prevent mental health problems from occurring in the first place.”  


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
  • Kooth Student: for university students
  • Kooth Work: for adults

Kooth is commissioned in 81% 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 Student is aimed at university students and is commissioned by three UK universities. 

 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.