Kooth is an online mental wellbeing service provided by the county council in response to Covid-19 to add to the range of mental health support available for children and young people in the county.
Young people aged 11 to 18 living in Gloucestershire can now access free anonymous counselling from qualified counsellors via an online mental well-being platform at www.kooth.com. Kooth is designed for young people experiencing issues with their emotional well-being, such as anxiety, low mood or stress.
Counselling can be accessed through a drop-in service or booked sessions; there is no referral needed from a health professional, no waiting lists, and no criteria to meet to get support.
As well as the option of online counselling, there is an online support network where young people can join friendly discussion boards to connect with others having similar experiences. They can access journals, goal trackers, and self-help articles with the option to contribute their own experiences or advice.
Cllr Tim Harman, cabinet member for public health and communities, said: “It’s totally normal to feel stressed or anxious whatever age you are, especially if you’re not able to see your friends or go about your normal routine. Whether you’re feeling worried about something related to coronavirus or something completely different, please reach out for support. It’s good to talk about your worries before they get bigger.”
Kooth is just one of the services available to support children and young people with their mental health and well-being in Gloucestershire, and the county council and its partners are keen to raise awareness of the range of support available.
Other options include:
- Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS, formerly known as CYPS)
Provides specialist NHS mental health services for children and young people (and their families/carers) who are experiencing moderate to severe mental health difficulties, from birth to their 18th birthday. Find out more about the service here https://cayp.ghc.nhs.uk or call Acorn House on 01452 894300 with any enquiries.
- On Your Mind Glos
An NHS website to explore topics such as bullying, eating disorders and anxiety, and where you can go for more support. www.onyourmindglos.nhs.uk
- Chat Health
A confidential text messaging service for young people to get in touch with a healthcare professional for advice and support. Text 07507 333351.
Phone, text or online counselling for young people aged 9 to 21. A parent support and advice line is also available online. Call 01594 372777, text 07520 634063 or visit www.ticplus.org.uk.
- Gloucestershire Self Harm Helpline
A safe, non-judgemental helpline for young people and adults who self harm, and their friends, families and carers. Call 0808 816 0606, text 07537 410 022 or webchat at www.gloucestershireselfharm.org.
Online support, resources and phone counselling. Calls are free and won’t show up on a phone bill. Call 0800 1111 or visit www.childline.org.uk.
- Young Minds
The children and young people’s mental health charity, Young Minds has lots of resources, advice and tool-kits for young people, and a parents’ helpline available Monday to Friday: 0808 802 5544. www.youngminds.org.uk
- GPs are open and available to support people of all ages.
- If you’re feeling very distressed, get help 24 hours a day by calling Samaritans on 116 123 or texting Shout on 85258.
Find out more about looking after your mental well-being and what services are available for adults and children here: www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/look-after-your-wellbeing