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Anonymous online counselling for teenagers comes to Redbridge

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 February 2018 | UPDATED: 14:38 13 February 2018

Redbridge CCG are trialing a new counselling service for teens. Picture: Dominic Lipinski

Redbridge CCG are trialing a new counselling service for teens. Picture: Dominic Lipinski

PA Wire/PA Images

Opening up about mental health issues is becoming easier for Redbridge teenagers thanks to an online anonymous counselling website.

Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group - the body that decides which health services to fund in the borough - are piloting a new counselling service called Kooth.

It aims to provide a safe, digital space for teenagers struggling to cope with bullying, feeling lonely, down, lost, angry, upset or confused.

Through the platform they can speak with a team of specially trained online counsellors.

Results already reveal that 80per cent of young people registered to use the app are doing so regularly and 90pc would recommend it to a friend.

Feedback recieved by the group suggests that young people like being able to talk online, rather than in person, and that their privacy is guaranteed.

“I was nervous at first, but chatting anonymously online seemed like an easy way to get help,” said one anonymous user.

The platform lets users sets themsleves goals, share journal articles and poems on everything from autism to coming out as LGBT+ to friends and family.

It was created by mental health tech company Xenzone, who have previously launched a similar service for adults called Qwell.

Dr Raj Kumar, the group’s mental health clinical lead said: “We want to help our teenagers understand how to lead healthy lives, and an essential part of this is understanding how to manage feelings.

“Talking about your emotions as a teenager is really important to help you manage your mental health as an adult.

“If you’re worried about your teenager but they won’t open up to you, try recommending Kooth to them as they often find it easier to talk to someone who is independent.”

The pilot of the app ties in with Children’s Mental Health Week which encourages people to improve their mental health by talking to someone about their feelings throughout the week starting February 5.

Almost half (45pc) of school leaders have found it difficult to commission mental health support for their pupils, revealed a study by children’s mental health charity Place2Be.

You can use Kooth at www.kooth.com/

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