Vital new support for parents and carers
A new online service aimed at helping parents of children experiencing mental health issues is available in Bolton.
Qwell offers parents and carers aged 26 and over professional digital counselling and emotional support, if they are helping to support their child’s mental health or if they need direct emotional support for their own mental wellbeing.
The free service is accessed via the website https://www.qwell.io/ and is an extension of the existing Kooth online digital service for 11 to 25 year olds in Bolton. Parents and carers under the age 26 can access the same support from Kooth at www.kooth.com.
Both services are commissioned by NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as part of its commitment to support the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people.
Parents and carers can access free, anonymous, online wellbeing support via Qwell 24/7 with no need for a referral.
Counselling sessions, including one-on-one sessions with fully trained professionals, run from mid-day to 10pm on weekdays and from 6pm to 10pm at weekends. Appointments can be booked in advance or people can “drop in” via text chats.
The website also includes self-help articles, peer-to-peer support via moderated discussion forums, and personal tools such as an online journal and interactive goal tracker.
Dr Helen Wall, clinical director of commissioning at NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “During our extensive work to help improve the mental health of children and young people in Bolton, we realised that parents and carers needed help too in order to support the young people they care for.
“Sometimes parents and carers need help to understand what their child is experiencing or they might also need direct support with their own mental health challenges.
“With that in mind, we are pleased that adult family members of young people experiencing mental health issues can now access their own direct help online and be part of a welcoming, supportive community.
“Making it as easy as possible for parents and carers to access mental health support is a key priority for Bolton CCG. This has never been more important given the challenges that young people and their families have faced during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Dr Lynne Green, chief clinical officer at Kooth, added: “We’re so pleased to be working with Bolton CCG to support adults in the borough.
“We know that receiving early help, support and treatment can significantly improve mental health outcomes; providing adults with easy access to high quality mental health services is a priority.
“Qwell offers a secure way to access digital emotional support at a time that is convenient and in a way that is convenient – without any stigma.
“Our team of qualified mental health professionals and experienced wellbeing practitioners are on hand to listen to whatever is on your mind, whenever you need us.”