With exam results just a few days away and stress levels rising, Hertfordshire’s GPs are recommending that young people feeling anxious log on for free online counselling and support at Kooth.com.
Anyone aged between 10 and 25 and registered with a Hertfordshire GP surgery can sign up anonymously and have an online chat with a fully-trained therapist. Counsellors can help with lots of different problems, including exam-related stress, family problems, eating disorders, loneliness, bullying, anxiety and depression.
“The build-up to exam results day can be extremely stressful as young people think the worst and worry about what the future holds,” said Dr Steve Kite, a Ware GP who leads on services for children and young people for East and North Hertfordshire CCG. “By going online at www.Kooth.com you can get counselling, advice and support immediately. It’s free and anonymous.”
“Please remember, there is no shame in asking for support during hard times, like when you’re waiting for exam results,” said Watford GP Dr Rami Eliad, who leads on services for children and young people for Herts Valleys CCG. “The good thing about www.Kooth.com is that you can use your phone or tablet to get emotional support and even talk online with an expert who can help in complete confidence.”
Kooth’s counsellors are available between 12noon and 10pm, Monday-Friday and 6pm-10pm at the weekend, 365 days a year. You can also talk to other young people anonymously on the moderated forums whenever you like and keep an online journal.
Young people already using the service have given good feedback, with one teenager saying: “I've liked being able to discuss things with you and get some ideas on how to start better controlling my anxiety. It's been useful.”
Hertfordshire’s plan to improve emotional wellbeing services for children and young people received £2m national funding. One of the transformation plan’s priorities is to focus on prevention and early intervention, giving children and young people good emotional and wellbeing support. You can read Hertfordshire’s Transformation Plan for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing 2015-17 here.