Introducing Kooth and Qwell to Victim First
- Domestic abuse and sexual violence victims in Leicestershire, now have access to free mental health wellbeing services.
- Kooth is commissioned across 85% of the NHS clinical commissioning group (CCG) areas across the country and has seen a 29% increase in demand during the Covid-19 outbreak.
What is Kooth/Qwell?
Children, young people and adults who have been victims of, or been witness to domestic abuse or sexual violence in Leicestershire, will now have access to free mental health support via Kooth (for children and young people) and Qwell (for adults), an online counselling and wellbeing platform for a six-month period beginning August 1st.
Kooth and Qwell are provided by Kooth, the UK’s leading provider of digital mental health services, and are available to over 5 million children, young people, and adults across England. Funded by the Police and Crime commissioner, Catch22 deliver the Victim First service across Leicestershire. Their decision to provide the service as part of the Victim First offer is in direct response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the increased risk of domestic abuse.
Why is it important?
Recent data from Kooth has shown a concerning increase in users presenting with ‘family relationship’ issues. Family relationships as a presenting issue covers concerns related to family tension, disputes and conflict, which can result in the sufferer developing mental health illnesses and, in severe cases, can lead to abuse. 1 in 5 children and young people are now reporting with family relationship issues – an increase of more than 50% over last year. Among adult service users, there has been a 35% increase in prevalence.
How can I access support?
Kooth and Qwell, both accredited British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy services, offers users access to a range of online support services including peer-to-peer forums which are safe and pre-moderated and one-on-one anonymous counselling sessions. Sessions are available from 12pm to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10pm on weekends and can be booked in advance or through a drop in session. Services can be accessed without any waiting lists, thresholds or referrals.
Manjeeta Sunnar, Head of Service for Catch22’s Victim First service in Leicestershire said:
“We know that not every victim wants to receive support in the same way. For those who have taken the brave step to seek help, Catch22 wants to ensure all its services are adopted to meet their needs. For Leicestershire’s victims of domestic and sexual violence, this online counselling can feel like a more discreet method, particularly for those who otherwise wouldn’t pick up the phone.”
Dr. Lynne Green, Kooth’s chief clinical officer added:
“We’re so pleased to be partnering with Catch22 to help support victims of domestic and sexual abuse in Leicestershire. The UK has seen a large increase in the number of domestic abuse and sexual violences during the lockdown period. At Kooth, we have seen increased demand for our services during these unprecedented times. Our qualified counsellors are on hand to provide support and guidance everyday.”