A better Medway
Published: Wednesday, 3rd February 2021

We're supporting a national campaign which aims to encourage open conversations around mental health.

We're supporting Kooth’s Don’t Do It Alone campaign which launched this week to coincide with Children’s Mental Health Week.

Kooth is an online service which offers mental health and wellbeing support for young people, provided by, XenZone.

Kooth enables Medway’s children and young people aged 11 to 25 to chat to counsellors through their instant messaging service using their online drop-in service or during a scheduled session. Young people can also read and contribute to articles concerned with mental health, join moderated forums and discussions enabling peer support as well as benefit from online journals and goal trackers. 

To mark Children’s Mental Health Week our library service also held a live read through of Talk and Work it Out by Cheri J Meiners on its Facebook page. The story is about the important skills people need to help get along and work out their problems peacefully. After the story children were given advice on techniques that they could use to calm down, if they’re angry, and how they could solve problems.

Medway Libraries also champions The Reading Agency’s Reading Well for Children programme, which provides information, stories and advice to support children’s mental health and wellbeing. The booklist is targeted at children aged seven to 11, but includes titles aimed at a wide range of reading levels to support less confident readers, and to encourage children to read together with their siblings, parents and carers. Medway residents can borrow the books from their local library through our Click and Collect service, or read many of the titles online through Medway Libraries’ eLibrary.

Our Public Health team has also launched a new survey to better understand how the current national lockdown, and the coronavirus pandemic, has affected the wellbeing of young people across Medway. The results of the survey will be used to tailor council services to best meet the needs of Medway’s young people.

You are not alone

Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder covering Public Health, said: “The health and wellbeing of all Medway residents is our top priority and it is very important that we all look after our mental health, especially in these unusual times. Young people are able to access Kooth outside of normal working hours in the afternoons, evenings and at weekends. I would encourage anyone who needs support with their mental health to access the services available to them, you are not alone.”

Ensuring children and young people have the best start in life

Medway Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services, Cllr Josie Iles, said: “We understand that the ongoing pandemic may be an unsettling time for Medway’s children and young people but they have adapted incredibly well to all of the changes they have faced over the last year. It is extremely important that we continue to have conversations about mental health, and I would encourage Medway’s children and young people to access the support available to them. We are committed to ensuring all children and young people in Medway have the best start in life and achieve their full potential.”

Find out more about the support available

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