London, UK, August 1st 2021: Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has commissioned Qwell to provide digital counselling and emotional support to adults aged over 26 years old. Qwell is delivered by Kooth – the UK’s leading digital mental health and wellbeing platform. Kooth is already available to children and young people aged between 11 and 25 years old in the region.
The service will be available to all adults from Sunday August 1st, with an initial focus on providing support to parents and caregivers of children and young people with mental health difficulties. Improved accessibility to mental health support for parents and caregivers is a key priority for the CCG – as set out in The Bolton Children and Young People’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing Local Transformational Plan. The new commission will seek to ensure that parents and care providers are being appropriately supported in managing their child’s mental health difficulties, in addition to their own emotional wellbeing.
Kooth’s recently published “Supporting Parents: a Personalised Approach to Mental Health” report examines how digital mental health platforms can play a role in supporting parents and why the site is useful for them. It identifies two main reasons parents seek mental health support: first of all, to get help with parenting, often related to their child’s mental health – in fact, 71% of parents who use Qwell Kooth for parenting support want to discuss challenges with their child’s mental health or behaviour. And secondly help for themselves, with 67% of parents accessing Qwell for support with their own mental health. When it comes to the type of support parents prefer:
- 65% of those surveyed preferred receiving support online.
- 93% of respondents reported that it was important for them that Kooth is anonymous.
- 90% of participants reported that it was ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important that Kooth is free at the point of access.
The commissioning of Qwell by Bolton CCG comes at a pertinent time – with the pandemic having had, and continuing to have, a substantial impact on the mental health of the nation. Data and insight from the Kooth Pulse Report 2021 published this May, revealed there has been:
- an 89% surge in usage of the Qwell platform among adults, 71% increase in adult males seeking support
- 17% of adults accessing professional intervention say that they think about hurting themselves or feel suicidal nearly every day – a 40% increase on the previous year.
- 49% of adults had suicidal or self-harm thoughts for several days, up 17% vs. FY2019
- 52% of adults from non-white communities suffering from anxiety, up 12% vs. 2019
- 39% of respondents are feeling down, depressed, or hopeless nearly every day – a 28% increase from FY2019.
- 43% of respondents felt bad about themselves, that they were a failure, or had let themselves or their family down, nearly every day – an increase of 17% from FY2019.
Founded in 2001, Kooth provides adults with a free, safe and secure means of accessing mental health support via a team of qualified counsellors. The award-winning site is accredited by the British Association of Psychotherapy and Counselling (BACP).
Access to Qwell is immediate. There is no need for a referral, waiting lists and the service is available 24/7, providing parents with the flexibility and convenience to access professional support at a time that suits them. Adults can access the service anonymously by logging onto the website via computer, smartphone or tablet device. Counselling sessions, including one-on-one sessions with fully trained practitioners, run from midday to 10pm on weekdays and from 6pm to 10pm at weekends. Appointments can be booked in advance or accessed as a drop-in instant text-based chats.
Qwell also offers adults free access to a range of clinically-approved materials to assist with psychological well-being. These materials range from educational, self-help articles, peer-to-peer support via moderated discussion forums and personal tools such as online journal and interactive goal tracker.
Dr Helen Wall, Clinical Director of Commissioning at NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “During our extensive work to help improve the mental health of children and young people in Bolton, we realised that parents and carers needed help too in order to support the young people they care for.
“Sometimes parents and carers need help to understand what their child is experiencing or they might also need direct support with their own mental health challenges.
“With that in mind, we are pleased that adult family members of young people experiencing mental health issues can now access their own direct help online and be part of a welcoming, supportive community.”
Dr Lynne Green, Chief Clinical Officer at Kooth added: “We’re so pleased to be working with Bolton CCG to support adults in the region – this is a really positive step forward. We know that receiving treatment early on in the trajectory of a mental health illness can significantly improve outcomes. Providing adults with easy access to high quality mental health services must therefore be a key priority. Qwell offers a secure and stigma-free way to access digital emotional support in a manner and at a time that is convenient for the individual. Our team of qualified mental health professionals and experienced wellbeing practitioners are on hand to listen to whatever is on your mind whenever you need us.”
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.