St Helens CCG commissions new online tool to help adults struggling with their mental health

Adults aged 26 and above can now access mental health and wellbeing support online for free thanks to a new service for St Helens residents.

QWell is an online and telephone counselling support service which aims to improve the emotional wellbeing and mental health of adults in St Helens by providing an early response to emotional wellbeing and/or emerging mental health needs. This enables any issues to be addressed promptly, and prevent problems from escalating and requiring a more specialist response such as face to face intervention or crisis.

Children and young people in St Helens aged 11-25 already have access to Kooth.com and following the success of this tool, especially during lockdown, QWell which is from the same team, is aimed specially at adults registered with a St Helens GP and provides:

  • Online emotional wellbeing and mental health support service 7 days a week, 365 days a year, with counsellors online from noon to 22:00, Monday to Friday, and 18:00-22:00 at weekends
  • An accessible, safe, secure, moderated website with online community features
  • An agreed method for recording discussions/activities and therapy content, and to link with other services on the delivery pathway

Pauline McGrath, commissioner for integrated mental health and vulnerable adults in St Helens, said: “We’re pleased that all adults registered with a St Helens GP will now have access to this fantastic free tool which offers online counselling sessions, chat functions and a wealth of support material.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has sharpened the focus of many on the importance of our emotional wellbeing and mental health and this service for St Helens residents will really pay dividends for those that need that support – both now and in the future.

“We know that one in four adults experiences at least one mental health disorder at some time in their lives and the cost to the NHS runs into billions each year with poor mental health the biggest single cause of disability which in turn impacts on wellbeing, life expectancy and the economy. QWell will be a powerful tool in enabling us to prevent and manage this.”

It is also hoped that the take up of QWell will help reduce demand on specialist services, adult mental health and social care provision for 26 year olds and above and help manage waiting times in the Improving Access to Psychological Therapy service who have more complex mental health issues.