Access to online mental health support for teaching staff
Friday 18 September 2020
In direct response to the coronavirus pandemic, NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Northumberland County Council have commissioned Kooth’s online counselling service for adults, Qwell, to provide free and anonymous mental health and wellbeing support to teachers and teaching staff in Northumberland. Any member of the teaching staff over the age of 18 will be able to access qwell.io for free and anonymous online mental health and emotional support.
Qwell, accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, gives adults free and anonymous access to psychoeducational materials, online peer support communities, and live messaging with an experienced counsellor. Users can also drop-in or book one-to-one online chat sessions with experienced counsellors from 12-noon until 10pm on weekdays and from 6pm until 10pm on weekends, 365 days a year.
Kate O’Brien, senior head of commissioning for child health, learning disabilities and mental health at NHS Northumberland CCG said, “We are very pleased that we are able to commission this additional mental health support for people in Northumberland. We recognise that staff who work in schools may be feeling very anxious at this time, as a result of Covid-19, and that they are under a lot of pressure. We hope that this website will provide the support and help they need.
“As a result of school staff being incredibly busy we appreciate that they may struggle to make time for appointments, and this may put them off seeking help and support for mental health issues. Qwell is easy to use and can be accessed anonymously at any time and in the comfort of peoples’ homes. We urge people to seek help when they need it and to use this valuable resource.”
Recent data from Kooth has found that the pandemic has impacted the mental health of adults around the country. 74% of adults are presenting with health anxiety issues, 30% of adults are presenting with issues around sadness and almost 1 in 5 are experiencing work concerns.
Cath McEvoy-Carr, Executive Director for Adult and Children’s services at Northumberland County Council said: “We are really pleased to be once again working in partnership with NHS Northumberland CCG on how we further support the mental health and wellbeing of those working in schools across Northumberland.
“Qwell is a great online tool that offers a safe space for people to share their experiences, whilst also getting the much-needed support they need from community professionals.
“The council is committed to helping teachers and school support staff get the help they need to improve their emotional wellbeing. By working together we hope that more people are able to get more help where it is needed sooner.”
Dr. Lynne Green, Chief Clinical Officer, Kooth added: “We believe that mental health support should be available easily and at the point of need – without waiting lists or the stigma that is so often associated with seeking professional help. We would encourage teaching staff in Northumberland to make use of Qwell’s self-help materials and know that our professional counsellors are on hand to provide one-to-one support no matter what the issue might be.”