South East London Integrated Care System (ICS) wants to assure young people in the region that support for their mental health and emotional wellbeing is still available throughout the summer holidays.
Anyone aged 10 to 25 can access Kooth.com - a free, safe and confidential online platform to seek non-judgemental professional mental health support. With services available 24/7 - outside of the usual 9 to 5 - Kooth.com has no waiting lists or thresholds to meet to qualify for help.
Consultant in child and adolescent psychiatry, with Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Sabitha Sridhar said:
“For many young people in south east London, the summer holidays signify a break from school, college or work and a chance to refresh.
“But others face challenges in their home life, compounded by the worries of making the transition to new schools, colleges, university, or the world of work.
“Some could feel socially isolated and lack a support network, which can lead to stress, anxiety, or feelings of depression. But support is always available and there’s no need for any young person to suffer in silence.”
Dr Sridhar added: “If any young person in south east London is feeling anxious or down, Kooth is there to provide help and support.”
Kooth.com provides a welcoming space for all children and young people in south east London to access therapeutic and interactive activities and content, as well as a peer support community. This includes co-produced self-help articles, as well as forums and discussion boards. Kooth users also can keep an online journal and monitor their wellbeing via an interactive goal and mood tracker.
In addition, and they can access free counselling sessions from qualified practitioners via an online chat-based platform. Chats can either be accessed through a drop-in service or pre-booked sessions from any connected device. Kooth.com is accessible 24 hours a day and one-to-one counselling sessions with a member of the Kooth team are available from 12-noon until 10pm on weekdays, and from 6pm until 10pm on weekends.
This transformational digital mental health service complements existing mental health support that exists in south London, delivered by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, and the local voluntary sector. Delivered by Kooth Plc, it is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and all online content is age-appropriate and pre-moderated by Kooth practitioners. Young people and their parents and guardians can view a short video about the service.