A new online counselling service, Kooth, will give local children and young people aged 11-19 in South Gloucestershire access to free, anonymous mental health and emotional wellbeing support.
Online counselling provider XenZone has been commissioned to provide the service, which will offer access to self-help materials, mood-tracking and goal setting tools, counsellor messaging and peer-to-peer support through moderated online forums.
The forums address issues that range from exam stress and depression to self-harm and relationship problems.
Qualified counsellors are available to support any child or young person in one-to-one sessions, from 12:00 until 22:00 on weekdays, and from 18:00 until 22:00 on weekends.
Kooth is available across the area for an initial 12-month period.
Dr David Soodeen, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) Mental Health Clinical Lead, said: “Kooth is a fantastic resource for children and young people who are going through a difficult time. It’s not a replacement for face-to-face talking therapies, but provides another way for young people to get support quickly and anonymously.
“It’s already helping young people in Bristol and North Somerset, and I’m very pleased it’s now available in South Gloucestershire too.”
The service can be accessed by visiting the Kooth website.