Need reassurance or advice? Kooth are keen to counsel

Need reassurance or advice? Kooth are keen to counsel

QE has added to its comprehensive pastoral support with the launch of an external online counselling service for the boys.

Through carefully structured pastoral provision, great efforts are made at the School to ensure boys are both happy and resilient, as well as successful in their academic endeavours. The latest addition to this provision, Kooth, is a free, safe support service for young people that is anonymous for its users.

Kooth is a platform run under the auspices of XenZone, an organisation set up by members of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) to facilitate easy access to high-quality mental health support and to information on emotional well-being.

The service, which offers online counselling between noon and 10pm daily, was introduced to QE boys in assemblies by Tim Coombe, one of Xenzone’s representatives. He challenged perceptions that it is not manly to ask for help or to talk about your emotions, saying: “It’s ok to admit you’re not ok.”

He added that boys currently are statistically much less likely to look for support than girls. “It is really important that boys engage too. You need to look after your mental health in the way you would your physical health,” he told the pupils.

The service is professionally run and, as it is moderated in real-time, no inappropriate content can be published and nobody be bullied in its forums. Kooth gives secure access to trained counsellors if needed. “Within minutes online, you can get access to support that would take months to access in the community,” said Mr Coombe.

He stressed that just because a boy does not need such support now, it does not mean that he might not in the future. “You never know what will happen; you can be fine, then one day have a problem. Take a look at the website and set up a profile now so that it will be there if you need advice or support in the future.”

Kooth complements the provision already in place at QE in-house through form tutors, the pastoral team and peer mentoring, and through the School’s counselling partnership with the New Barnet charity, Rephael House, whose counsellors come into School.

David Ryan, Assistant Head for the Upper School and Pupil Progression, said: “It is important that boys are open to asking for help in School, or through such services as Kooth when they need reassurance or advice.”

“School is here to support you when you do face difficulties,” he told Year 11 boys in their assembly.

    • The Kooth website,, contains articles suitable for young people, looking at issues from self-image to depression.