AN ONLINE counselling and well-being service is now available to young people in Leeds.

Commissioned by NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Kooth - - gives 11 to 18 year olds access to free, anonymous mental health and well-being support.

Provided by XenZone the service allows users to access articles and self-help resources, and to participate in moderated forums, 24 hours a day.

One to one counselling sessions and counsellor messaging are also provided, with counsellors available between noon and 10pm on weekdays and from 6pm to 10pm on weekends, 365 days a year.

The service, accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), is available from any connected device and has been commissioned for an initial 12 month pilot.

Chief Executive at NHS Leeds CCG, Philomena Corrigan, said: "We are committed to improving the mental health of children and young people across the city, and feel that the service provided by XenZone will help with this.

"Kooth is confidential, fast, simple, free to access and available at a time that suits young people using it, and it help young people manage their emotional well-being."

Founder of XenZone, Elaine Bousfield, added: "We are thrilled to provide children and young people in Leeds with our Kooth service.

"Mental health support should be easily available and accessible whenever a young person needs help."