Kooth (A guide and review)
What is Kooth?
Kooth is a provider of online mental health services for children, young people and adults.
The platform was launched in 2014, is free, safe and anonymous, it is an online counselling and emotional well-being platform for children and young people, accessible through mobile, tablet and desktop and free at the point of use. on kooth, you can chat to friendly counsellors via the web, read articles from young people that you will be able to relate to, get support from the online kooth community via telephone, email and online.
You can also write in a daily journal.
According to the information on Xenzone, Kooth isnt just available to people online but is available through universities and councils.
Another online platform which people can use to calm themselves or for counselling is Headspace.
It also has an app which can be used.
Kooth may be able to help you with:
Kooth is a very nice platform as it doesn’t have any waiting lines, it is usually operational after the typical working hours which provides flexibility to students and young adults.
Kooth is a BACP(British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.) accredited service.
The BACP is a charity which creates and maintains a framework for its members by providing guidelines which are generated through research conducted on counselling and psychotherapy.
Kooth is also an NHS service provider.
The kooth platform is available from Monday to Friday between 12 pm and 10 pm. On Saturday and Sunday, the Kooth service is available from 6 pm to 10 pm.
This means there are Kooth counsellors who are online on the Kooth community who can help you between these times when they are available.
What can you do on Kooth?
On Kooth you can:
- Chat to the counsellors who are on the Kooth platform
- Read articles which are written by young people who may be your peers
- On the Kooth web platform, you will essentially be on a community forum where you can interact with other people who are logged in on the Kooth community. These may be different people who are battling their own mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, loneliness etc.
- On the Kooth platform, you will be able to keep a journal of your day to day activities so you can review them later to see how you have progressed.
The platform is provided and managed by Xenzone.
The platform is free to use with no charge at any point.
The platform is also totally anonymous so you do not have to disclose who you are to get help.
The platform is largely successful with over 1500 logins a day.
Xenzone has been around for over 17 years and has been a provider of mental health services for young children mainly through connecting those who are in need of mental health help to the appropriate providers of such help including mental health counsellors, therapists and clinical psychologists.
What does Kooth stand for?
Kooth is simply a brand name which was formed by Xenzone. It doesn’t stand for anything in particular.
Kooth is a wellbeing platform which provides a monitored community where users can speak to trained BACP accredited counsellors and their peers.
What age is Kooth for?
Kooth will be suited for people aged between 10 and 18 years but those aged above may still be able to access the Kooth platform.
Who are the counsellors on the Kooth platform?
The counsellors on Kooth vary in their level of experience and qualification but generally, these are qualified counsellors who have gone through some level of accreditation or have a diploma in the field.
The counsellors offered via the Kooth platform also have varying levels of speciality.
A look at Anne who works at Kooth shows that she holds an Advanced Professional Diploma in Psychotherapeutic Counselling and specializes in integrative counselling.
Anne is also a member of the BACP. This is a theme you will find with most of the counsellors available on the Kooth platform.
How do they treat confidentiality?
As you can imagine, confidentiality is a very important thing for those suffering from mental health issues or those seeking mental health help.
It is therefore very important that Kooth is able to provide a high level of confidentiality to its users who may mostly be minors.
Kooth will never talk to anyone outside of Kooth about you without your permission.
In some cases, they may have to do this. These cases include:
your life is at risk because of something you are doing
you are at risk from somebody else
you are a risk to somebody else.
In these scenarios, they will ask you for your contact details and will then refer you to the service which they see fit for your circumstances.
How does the sign-up process look like?
The kooth sign-up process is very straightforward as you can see below.
There are 2 pages of information and no personal information which can identify you to a third party is revealed.
What does the Kooth platform look like?
The below images provide an overview of what the platform looks like.
As you can see from the below images you can log your feelings on the platform, you can also see updates on the forum(the platform also has various categories on the forum where you can join different categories and engage in the conversations), follow particular threads on the forum set goals and review past goals to see if you have made any progress since you joined the platform.
On the platform, you can also see blogs written by approved community members on the Kooth platform, start a chat with the counsellors, answer a questionnaire about your day, see updates from other community members and interact with those members.
If you are seeking help from CAMHS and need further help during the time you are waiting then this platform may be able to assist you during this.
In case you are wondering, CAMHS is a service provided by the NHS as part of the UK governments attempts to tackle mental health issues.
Getting help from CAMHS is something that most teenagers or people who are under 18 may consider when facing mental wellness issues.
In fact, most parents will be referred to CAMHS as the first point of call for children who are battling depression, suicidal thoughts, dealing with bereavement, anxiety, eating disorders, PTSD and many other issues.
The issue with CAMHS is that the onboarding process can take a few months and in some cases even years depending on what region you are based in and the urgency of your needs.
Before applying to CAMHS or being referred to CAMHS you should check the CAMHS referral criteria to see if you will be eligible for CAMHS before applying or asking to be referred to CAMHS.
If you feel you are eligible for CAMHS you should consider filling in the appropriate CAMHS referral form or ask the person referring you to fill in the CAMHS referral form for you.
You may want to assist the person who fills in the CAMHS referral form to ensure they provide a fair, honest and consistent account of you and your current state so the help offered to you would be much more tailored.
There are many other wellbeing platforms which you may find useful when dealing with mental health issues.
There are meditation apps, sleep apps, anxiety apps and many other wellbeing apps which may be useful if you are suffering from mental health issues.
Half Full Not Empty (ourselves) also have an app which is available on both the google play store and the apple store for anyone to download.
The HFNE app is free to use and provides similar benefits like the ones we have discussed in this guide.
On the Half Full Not Empty app you can also book accredited counsellors and therapists who may be able to help you deal with any mental wellbeing issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders etc.
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