Launch of free digital 24-hour mental health service for children and young people in Doncaster

NHS Doncaster CCG has commissioned Kooth to provide 24 hours a day, seven days a week digital mental health support to young people and young adults aged 11 to 25.

Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 10:23 am

With no waiting list or thresholds to meet, Kooth offers a safe and welcoming place for children and young people to get confidential and non-judgemental professional help for mental health concerns, as and when they need it.

Once registered, the service can be accessed using any internet connected device such as a laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

Kooth aligns with NHS Doncaster CCG’s aim of promoting, protecting and improving children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health in the region. It provides effective and personalised digital mental health care designed to work alongside other commissioned services within the established mental health pathways.

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Children can access the service using any internet connected device such as a laptop, smartphone, or tablet

Dr David Crichton, Chair of the Doncaster CCG said: “Early intervention and treatment can have a significantly positive impact on a child or young person’s mental health prognosis

and may prevent problems from becoming worse. It’s therefore critical that children and young people are able to access the mental health support and care they need as soon as

possible - and this is where a digital platform can help.

“As there is no ‘one-size fits all’ approach, Kooth complements our existing mental health commissioned services which remain a CCG priority for our local population. As a part of

Team Doncaster, working to support children and young people with mental health issues, we are delighted to be partnering with Kooth to provide this welcome additional service

across Doncaster.”

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Dr Lynne Green, Chief Clinical Officer at Kooth explained: "Asking for help with mental health concerns is not always easy - especially when you are a child or young person.

However, having anonymous access to early intervention services can help reduce both the stigma attached to reaching out as well as the severity and duration of mental illness - as well as help prevent certain problems escalating.

“Digital mental health services such as what we offer at Kooth are designed to provide children and young people with access to timely and effective mental health care based on

their individual preferences and needs. With so many of our children and young people seeking support for mental health difficulties related to the pandemic, a safe and accessible

service outside of the normal 9-5 is more vital than ever. Our team of experienced practitioners and professional counsellors can provide support at a range of levels. No

matter the issue or situation, Kooth is here to help.”

Counselling and wellbeing support sessions, including one-on-one sessions with fully trained and qualified 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. There is no referral needed from a health professional, no waiting lists and no criteria needed to meet to qualify for support.

As well as counselling, Self-help articles, forums, and discussion boards are also available – with content that is age appropriate, pre-moderated and clinically approved. Kooth can also be used by children and young people to keep an online journal and track their wellbeing via an interactive goal tracker.

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