New service delivered by Kooth offers free, anonymous and 24/7 digital mental health support with no referrals or thresholds to meet
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a widespread detrimental impact on health and wellbeing. The recent Herefordshire Community Wellbeing Survey 2021 revealed that 28% of respondents had reported high levels of anxiety with 33% admitting they were doing less exercise and 30% were sleeping less well than the previous year. In addition, 32% of people had experienced a drop in household income.
With many adults reporting a significant decline in mental health, it is now more important than ever to ensure access to high quality digital mental health tools.
As part of the grant funding for its Covid-19 recovery plan, supporting economic recovery and improving wellbeing in the county, the council has commissioned Qwell, a new service that will provide free digital counselling and emotional support to adults aged 19 years and over.
Councillor Pauline Crockett, Cabinet Member health and adult wellbeing said: “Covid-19 has had a significant impact on people’s mental health. Qwell is a new service to Herefordshire and will provide an anonymous online emotional well-being, counselling and support service for adults. It adds to the services already available and is funded as part of the £6m investment for Herefordshire’s Covid-19 recovery plan, supporting economic recovery and improving wellbeing in the county”.
Qwell is delivered by Kooth - the UK’s leading digital mental health and wellbeing platform and is accredited by the British Association of Psychotherapy and Counselling. The service will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Access is via computer, tablet or smartphone - with no waiting lists or referrals necessary - enabling people to access care immediately and at a time that is convenient to them.
One-on-one counselling sessions with fully qualified wellbeing practitioners are available 365 days a year, from midday to 10pm on weekdays, and from 6pm to 10pm on weekends and holidays. Sessions can be booked in advance or accessed via drop-in instant text-based chats. Qwell’s users will also have access to an extensive range of self-care and psychoeducational materials, peer-to-peer support via moderated forums, and personal tools such as an online journal.
Dr Lynne Green, Chief Clinical Officer at Kooth added "As we continue to grapple with the psychological fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are delighted to be partnering with Herefordshire Council to ensure that adults have access to emotional support when they need it.
For anyone going through a challenging time, we would encourage you to seek support. Our team of experienced counsellors and wellbeing practitioners is here to help you when times are tough, and will be on hand to listen when you need to talk to someone."
To access Qwell or to find out more, please visit the website.