Expanded partnership ensures digital mental health support for all Northumberland residents
Tuesday 05 April 2022
Adults in Northumberland will now have access to free online mental health support following the rollout of a service previously available only to young people.
NHS Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has partnered with Kooth to ensure that every adult, young person and child over the age of 11 now has access to safe digital support outside of the normal 9-5 working day.
Kooth.com (for young people 11-25) was launched in the county in 2020 and from Friday, April 1, the Qwell.io (adults 18+) service will go live.
Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, both services are free, anonymous and there are no referrals needed from a health professional, waiting lists, thresholds or criteria to meet to qualify for support. They offer a safe and welcoming place for individuals seeking non-judgemental professional help for mental health concerns.
There is no one-size fits all approach to mental health, which is why both Kooth.com and Qwell.io are designed to work in partnership with other existing NHS services.
Once registered, Qwell.io and Kooth.com can be accessed via any internet-connected device such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet.
Jane Walker, NHS Northumberland CCG’s strategic commissioning manager for complex care, said: “It is good news that Qwell is now available for the adult population in Northumberland
“The CCG continues to work hard to improve mental health services across Northumberland, and we are committed to providing access to services in a range of ways to ensure patients get the support they need in as timely a manner as possible.
“There is no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health problems in our communities. Digital mental health services offer invaluable care that is anonymous, helps to remove any perceived stigma and can be adapted to suit an individual’s preferences and needs.”
Tim Barker, Chief Executive Officer at Kooth Plc, added: “The pandemic has taken its toll on the mental health of the nation, but whether you are a child, young person or an adult, reaching out for help is not always easy.
“Having access to early intervention services that are anonymous and safe, can help combat the stigma and prevent certain problems escalating. They can also aid in the reduction of the severity and duration of any potential mental health illness. This is where a digital platform, such as Kooth, can help.
“By providing everyone aged 11-plus in the county with access to 24/7 digital support, Northumberland CCG has really raised the bar when it comes to mental healthcare.
“Our team of experienced clinical practitioners and professional counsellors provides mental health support at a range of levels. No matter the issue or situation, Qwell.io and Kooth.com are here to help.”