Online service offers real time mental health support to local young people

by CWP News - 28 January 2019

Young people in West Cheshire aged 11-19 can now access real-time support from a mental health professional through a free online service.

Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s (CWP) Starting Well Online Team provides young people the chance to confidentially discuss their emotional health and wellbeing needs with an expert via a ‘live chat’ online tool.

The dedicated support service, which can be accessed via www.StartingWell.org.uk,  aims to give local young people a way to raise questions or concerns around topics influencing their mental wellbeing – such as stress, anxiety, low mood/depression, relationship issues or general health issues – in a way that suits their needs.

The service can be accessed via the following times:

  • Monday: 7.30pm – 10.00pm
  • Tuesday: 6.30pm – 10.00pm
  • Thursday: 7pm – 9.30pm
  • Friday: 6.30 – 9.30pm
  • Sunday 6.00pm – 9.30pm

Alternatively, a user can submit their question to the team at any time via the page’s web form, which will be followed up during service hours.

Val Sturgess, CWP’s Head of Clinical Services for Starting Well, said: “We know that communicating online is the way many young people engage with each other and the wider world. Having this option will support them to discuss things that otherwise they may not feel comfortable talking about, in a way that suits them.

“Everything about this new service has been co-designed by young people in West Cheshire. We’ve been into a number of local schools to discuss how they want to access health support, and the service has been shaped by their feedback.”

Councillor Nicole Meardon, Cabinet Member Children and Families, said: “This is a fantastic service. We want all our young people to have the best start in life and we actively encourage talking about mental health. It’s great that they can go online and chat to someone in confidence about any worries they may have.”

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