Free online mental health support for thousands of Leeds students

LEEDS Beckett University is offering its 28,000 students access to a free online mental health support service amid concerns over pressures students face.

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The university has commissioned digital mental health pioneer XenZone to provide Kooth Student, its free and anonymous online mental health and emotional wellbeing support service.

It has been introduced in recognition of the pressures faced by students and the increased demand for mental health support across UK universities.

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The service offers access to mental health support with no waiting lists.

Kooth Student also gives students access to experienced counsellors in and out of term-time.

It contains a library of self-help articles, which students can read or contribute themselves.

Messaging is also available, which allows students to send and receive messages directly with a qualified and experienced counsellor.

The site also offers goal setting, journal writing and mood tracking tools.

Students can also drop-in or book live online ‘chats’ with experienced therapists.

Sessions are available from mid-day until 10pm on weekdays and from 6pm until 10pm at weekends, while content on the site remains accessible anytime.

Priscilla Preston, director of student services at Leeds Beckett, said, “Students often seek support out of hours and at weekends and we are delighted to be able to offer this service to our students alongside our campus based face-to-face and online services.”

XenZone founder Elaine Bousfield said, “Not everyone has a positive experience at university. It’s important that students have easy access to the right support and can choose how they want to receive help. Kooth Student allows students to get help in and out of University term time without the waiting times or stigma that often comes with asking for help.”

The YEP’s #SpeakYourMind campaign in 2019 is focusing on children and young people’s mental health.