Free NHS counselling and emotional wellbeing service launches in Newcastle Gateshead
Wednesday 28 April 2021
Free mental health support will be just a click away for people in Newcastle and Gateshead, as a new NHS service launches next week.
Qwell, an online emotional wellbeing platform, will be available from Monday 3 May, provided by Kooth with support from NHS Newcastle Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Dr Mark Dornan, a local GP and the CCG’s Chair, said: “The past year has been a tough one for people, in so many different ways. From people losing their jobs, to school staff or families feeling stressed, to anyone feeling lonely or anxious during the pandemic, there is extra support if you need it.
“At difficult moments, being able to find the right support quickly and easily can make all the difference.”
Qwell is available to anyone aged 26 or over living in Newcastle or Gateshead, in addition to the range of other mental health services already available. People can access the service anonymously at www.qwell.io, while local employers can also support their staff by signposting them to the service.
Younger people already have access to the Kooth.com service, which offers professional counselling and support to anyone in Newcastle or Gateshead aged between 11 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.
Dr Lynne Green, Kooth’s chief clinical officer, said: “We’re very pleased that adults in Newcastle and Gateshead will now be able to benefit from Qwell’s services. We want to ensure that accessing mental health services is as simple and easy as possible.
“A self-referral service like Qwell is beneficial as it is completely anonymous and people can get support in a way that is most suitable to them, at a time that is convenient for them. We encourage anyone who is struggling to make use of our resources and know that our qualified counsellors are on hand to provide support 365 days a year.”
Qwell and Kooth are part of a range of services to support local people with their mental health:
- If you need urgent help right now, you can phone 0800 652 2863 free.
- If you or another person have been harmed or are at immediate risk, you may require an emergency response – call 999.
- Anyone aged 26 and over can get support and counselling at qwell.io; if you are 11-25, you can get help through www.kooth.com.
- You can also get help through your GP, by calling NHS 111 or through Talking Helps Newcastle on 0191 282 6600 or Gateshead Talking Therapies on 0191 283 2541.
- If you are feeling suicidal, phone the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit www.stopsuicidenenc.org.