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Emotional support for Lewisham’s young people during the summer holidays

As the summer holidays approach, we're reminding young people in Lewisham that they can still continue to access emotional support should the need arise.

XenZone's online counselling and emotional wellbeing service, Kooth, has been available to young people in Lewisham for the last three years. And since February it's also been available to all 11-to-19-year-olds across the rest of south east London.

Qualified counsellors are available on weekdays from midday until 10pm, and from 6pm until 10pm at weekends for booked or drop-in one-to-one therapy.

Dr Charles Gostling, NHS Lewisham CCG's Senior Clinical Director, said: "It's easy to think of the summer period as one of carefree leisure, but for many young people, that simply isn't the case.

"The same pressures and anxieties exist, irrespective of the time of year, and young people deserve to have access to emotional support, guidance and help."

Dr Gostling added: "Kooth has been a great success in Lewisham, and that's why the service has been rolled out across the rest of south east London.  By investing in the mental wellbeing of the young people of Lewisham, we're empowering them to lead healthier and happier lives."

Kooth is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and is available online, offering free and safe access to self-help materials, mood-tracking, online journal and goal setting tools and a moderated online community of peers. Young people can also contribute to the Kooth magazine and share their experiences, or take part in moderated online peer-to-peer forums.

The service complements existing mental health support that exists in south London, delivered by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and the local voluntary sector.