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New counselling service launched to support young people across Norfolk

Picture credits: Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust

Young people across Norfolk now have access to an online mental health counselling service, available every day of the year.

"Kooth" has been commissioned by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) to help support the mental wellbeing of those aged between 11 and 25-years-old.

The new service is delivered by qualified counsellors either through a drop-in session or via bookable chat sessions.

The platform was originally launched in Suffolk back in October 2019 and due to its success, has now been rolled out in Norfolk and Waveney.

It has been accessed 3,100 times with 97% of users saying they would recommend it to a friend.

The service has been launched to help young people seek support on any topic of their choosing, whether that's help with coping during pandemic, exam stress, bullying or mental health conditions.

An online journal is also provided to document their thoughts and also help track their mood.

Al Bailey, Children and Young People Transformation Manager with NSFT, said:

“We are really pleased that we are now able to offer this additional resource to help young people across Norfolk and Waveney manage their feelings during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond. 

“As a result of the outbreak, some young people are unable to access their usual support networks, while others may not feel comfortable talking to family members.

"Kooth gives them the opportunity to share their feelings confidentially with others or with a qualified counsellor so that they can receive the best support to help them deal with issues or worries. 

“Young people are often extremely comfortable with chatting online, so using this media is a fantastic way to engage with them, especially if they find more traditional ways of accessing services difficult.” 

NSFT say online wellbeing support has always been on the agenda, but the coronavirus crisis accelerated the commissioning of Kooth.

There aren't any waiting lists or thresholds for young people to use the service, which has now been commissioned across over 140 NHS areas and is seeing a spike during the outbreak.

Kooth will be available for the next 12 months and can be accessed by clicking here.

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