New online NHS counselling and emotional wellbeing service to launch in South Tyneside
People in South Tyneside will soon be able to get mental health support in just a few clicks with the launch of a new digital wellbeing support service.
Qwell, a mental health and emotional wellbeing platform provided by the Kooth platform, will be available in the borough from Monday, August 1, with the backing of the NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
"It's been a difficult time for many of us with Covid-19, lockdowns, job worries and all the other concerns of a pandemic,” said Dr Jim Gordon, a local GP and Clinical Director at the CCG.
"It's never been more important for us all to take a moment and look after our mental health and wellbeing.
"We have a strong range of mental health services locally, and Qwell is another option to make sure you can get support quickly and easily when you need it. It could be a bit of extra help in a difficult moment, or it could be the helping hand you need while you're waiting for therapy or other support."
Qwell is available to anyone aged 24 or older living in South Tyneside, in addition to a range of other mental health services already available to residents.
Among those existing borough services, there is: the Lifecycle mental health service, which can be reached on: 0191 283 2937; or, by visiting the South Tyneside Lifecycle website; the emergency 999 service for anyone who has been harmed or who is at immediate risk and may require a rapid response; an urgent advice service that is available through the Initial Response Team, which can be reached 24 hours a day on: 0303 123 1145; the Samaritans service, which can be reached by calling 116 123 or by visiting: www.stopsuicidenenc.org.
The Qwell service can be accessed anonymously at www.qwell.io. Meanwhile, local employers can also support their staff by signposting them to the service.
Younger people already have access to the Kooth.com service, the CCG highlighted, which offers professional counselling and support to anyone in South Tyneside between the ages of 10 and 25.
The UK’s leading provider of digital mental health support, Qwell is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
It offers free, anonymous access to resources, an online community and live messaging with an online support team.
Users can also drop in or book one-to-one online chat sessions with counsellors from noon to 10pm on weekdays, and 6pm to 10pm on weekends, 365 days a year.
The service was developed after many residents told the CCG that they would like 24-hour online access to support, advice and information about local services.
“We're delighted that Qwell is now available to provide timely help and support to adults in South Tyneside,” Dr Lynne Green, Chief Clinical Officer at Kooth, added.
"At a time of increased stress and anxiety due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it's vital that we take preventative steps to manage our mental health and emotional wellbeing.
"We believe that digital mental health services like Qwell should be available easily and when people need it the most - without referrals, waiting lists or any of the stigma that is sometimes associated with getting support.
"We encourage those struggling not to wait until they are at crisis point before reaching out for help. From self-help articles and moderated discussion forums through to individual counselling from experienced counsellors, we can support at a range of levels and help establish a much needed sense of community."