A free online mental health and emotional wellbeing support service has been launched to help men living across the Humber, Coast and Vale area.
Men aged 18 and over living in North Yorkshire, York, Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire can now register to use Qwell for Men – a free, anonymous online counselling and emotional wellbeing service which can be accessed anywhere using a computer, smartphone or tablet device.
In England, around one in eight men have a common mental health problem such as depression, anxiety, panic disorder or obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). Around three-quarters of registered suicides in England and Wales in 2019 were among men (4,303).
Two out of every three people who take their life have not previously had contact with mental health services so the Partnership is investing in different ways to support people with their mental health and wellbeing before it gets to a point of crisis.
Men can access Qwell, which is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, to access one-on-one online sessions with qualified counsellors, receive and provide peer-to-peer support through moderated online forums, and read and contribute to articles.
Qwell for Men can also be used to keep an online journal and track your wellbeing via an interactive goal tracker. There are no waiting lists or thresholds for use, so men can use the free service as soon as they register.
Qwell for Men, delivered by Kooth, the UK’s largest provider of online mental health services – has been commissioned for use by the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership. This marks the first time a digital mental health service has been commissioned specifically in response to male suicide.
The Partnership is made up of NHS organisations, local councils, health and care providers and voluntary and community organisations, who are working together to improve the health and wellbeing of the 1.7 million people living in Humber, Coast and Vale – an area which includes the cities of Hull and York and large rural areas across East Yorkshire, North Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire.
Recent data from Qwell has shown the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on adult mental health. One in five (21.3%) are presenting with suicidal thoughts, more than half (54.6%) are presenting with anxiety and 27.10% are presenting with sadness.
Jo Kent, Suicide Prevention Lead at Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership, said: “We are really pleased to announce that Qwell for Men is now available to men in the local area. We know that men can often find it difficult to talk about their mental health and the way that they are feeling. With free access to Qwell, we can ensure that they have access to the right support, wherever and whenever they need it.
“Qwell for Men is available 24 hours a day and those accessing support have the option to remain completely anonymous. This service is crucial and we encourage men from all walks of life to use it.”
Dr Lynne Green, Kooth’s chief clinical officer, said: “We’re very pleased that Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership are looking at new and innovative ways to support adult men. Our national data is showing an increase in suicidal thoughts amongst adults and Qwell will support the Partnership’s strategy to help tackle this issue.
“We encourage those struggling to use our self-help tools to connect with others who may be experiencing something similar. Our qualified counsellors are on hand to provide support and guidance 365 days of the year.”