A FREE online counselling and support service has been launched for young people in the district who are experiencing emotional and mental health issues.

The Kooth initiative is aimed at people aged 11 to 18 living in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven.

There is access to articles written by young people, forums offering peer-to-peer support, self-help materials and the chance to keep a daily journal.

The service was commissioned by NHS Bradford district and Craven clinical commissioning groups (CCGs), as part of a wider partnership with Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust.

It is being run by XenZone, an online mental health provider.

Lisa Stead, interim service manager for child and adolescent mental health services at the care trust, said: “This innovative service enables children and young people to access the right help at the right time – including expert counselling and emotional wellbeing support all year round.

“The regular forums cover a range of topics, from exam stress and anxiety to eating disorders and grief.

“I am delighted that local young people will be able to get help and support through this new scheme.”

Dr Angela Moulson, for NHS Bradford district and Craven CCGs, said: “The launch of this digital service provides a safe, secure and accessible place for young people to get the support they need.”

Young people can sign-up to the service at kooth.com.