The Kooth.com contract operating in the Humber, Coast and Vale area will end on 31 March 2022.
Kooth.com is an online platform providing anonymous access to online chat/text-based counselling, discussion forums and online self-care resources for children and young people aged 11-18. In Hull over the last two years we have had over 2,000 registrations of young people, however usage information shows an average of 139 active users per month.
Kooth is working with NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group and Humber Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership and local children and young people currently in its service to ensure an appropriate plan is in place for them to access suitable alternative provision before the contract ceases.
To ensure the safe closure of the service, Kooth will stop taking new registrations in the Humber, Coast and Vale area from Monday 28 February 2022.
The current Kooth service aimed to meet an immediate need to provide additional online mental health support for young people during the pandemic, to give existing children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health services time to adapt and further develop their own online service provision. Due to the restrictions of the pandemic, it was not possible to undertake the usual level of consultation and engagement on a digital offer with children and young people before Kooth was commissioned.
While Kooth has met the needs of some young people over the length of the contract, it has not impacted on the levels of referrals to other mental health services, including CAMHS and early intervention mental health support. A consultation led by HEY Mind is now underway to gain a better understanding of what digital service provision we need to develop for children and young people to support their emotional wellbeing and mental health. This consultation will inform future service development and will ensure both a face-to-face and digital offer is available for young service users.
Alternative services for children and young people:
Humber Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership has identified alternative support services which can be accessed by children and young people in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, York, North Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire through Childline and Young Minds which are nationally funded and available now.
Consultation with children and young people before the pandemic identified Childline and Young Minds as good sources of support with ‘young people friendly’ websites and services for their emotional wellbeing and mental health. We have provided some further information on these services below:
Childline is a national service which offers the following:
Free, confidential and anonymous support for young people under 19 in the UK.
Young people can contact Childline’s trained counsellors to talk about anything whether it’s something big or small.
Childline is available any time, day or night. Young People can talk to Childline by:
The site also has a wide range of self-care resources and online forums on mental health and other topics which may impact on children and young people’s lives. The combination of online and phone counselling ensures young people who have limited access to the internet through their own devices can still access support via the free phone number.
For more information please visit: Get Support | Childline
YoungMinds is a national charity which offers the following:
A free textline service providing 24/7 text support for young people across the UK experiencing a mental health crisis.
All texts are answered by trained volunteers, with support from experienced clinical supervisors.
Texts are free from EE, O2, Vodafone, 3, Virgin Mobile, BT Mobile, GiffGaff, Tesco Mobile and Telecom Plus.
Text: YM to 85258
For more information please visit:
How Are You Feeling website
In Hull the How Are You Feeling website is available for young people, parent/carers and professionals to guide them to where to access support for emotional wellbeing. It includes resources, a directory of services and advice and guidance.
For more information please visit: www.howareyoufeeling.org.uk