Updated: Dec 20, 2020
An online mental health tool for teenagers and young adults has been launched in Jersey.
Named Kooth, the web tool lets young people between the ages of 13 and 25 chat in online communities, browse support articles and personal stories, and book appointments with professional counsellors.
One of its unique attributes is the possibility for users to be anonymous, allowing community members to comfortably share their experiences.
The platform is already available in the UK and Isle of Man and will now be rolled out across Jersey over the next 14 months.
"I'm delighted that this pilot project has been launched as it increases the mental health support choices available for young people in the Island," Senator Tracey Vallois, Jersey's Minister for Education, for ITV News. "The Kooth online counselling and support scheme shows that the Government remains committed to putting Jersey's children first as looking after the mental health and wellbeing of our young people is a key part of the pledge."
With the recent decline in face-to-face counselling opportunities for anyone struggling with their mental health, Kooth offers young people a place to safely access support.
According to findings from Young Minds' COVID-19 Autumn 2020 survey, 40% of young people said there was no school counsellor available in their school, while 23% said there was now less mental health support available in their school compared with before the pandemic.
The lack of support may be why the number of young people describing their mental health as poor has increased since being back at school – up from 58% before returning to 69%.