Free mental health support from Kooth for Sported members

By Sported |  10th October 2022

In line with our Reach. Include. Empower strategy, improving the mental and physical health and wellbeing is a particular focus of our work and support to community sports groups.


Results from previous Community Pulse surveys completed by group leaders in the Sported network have shown that anxieties around mental health and wellbeing of the young people they support, as well as themselves, are high, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. 


As part of this ongoing work, we have launched a new partnership with Kooth to bring free mental health and wellbeing support to those in South Tyneside, Hartlepool and Brent. 

South Tyneside has seen long waiting times for young people’s mental health support on the NHS, while a high number of Sported members in Hartlepool have requested support in mental health and wellbeing as part of our Connected Communities Project. Brent has a high number of ethnically diverse communities, and data from Kooth shows that the usage of Kooth has increased by 36% amongst young Londoners, with 49% of those Black, Asian and non-white backgrounds.  We want to ensure that young people and group leaders can access the support they need more easily.

We will offer two anonymous and safe digital platforms which will be available to community sports groups in these areas.

The Kooth platform caters to young people aged 11-18, while Qwell is for those aged 19+.

It is hoped that access to these two platforms will be encouraged to the young people who participate in sport sessions, but also promoted amongst the staff, volunteers and group leaders themselves. With the increase in utility bills, the cost of living crisis, and the additional burden that some group leaders are facing, it is crucial that we support them too.

A simple illustration of the shape of a boy sitting on the ground holding his knees.. A splash of colour is coming from his head as if they are his thoughts surrounding him. The Kooth and Sported logos are positioned below the drawing

Sported’s previous and ongoing mental health work includes the Time In Mind project, which saw grants distributed to community groups for them to trial projects to support good mental wellbeing amongst their young people, and the Mental Wealth Games, a series of training to help groups in their delivery of mental health sessions.

Kooth and Qwell offer users an opportunity to chat via a messenger platform to a professional, access to discussion boards and mental wellbeing content, as well as daily journals and mood tracking facilities. Both are accessible via mobile or laptop and are accredited by the BACP British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy and are provided by Kooth, which has worked with the NHS for over 20 years.

As our mental health work continues we hope to support young people, and group leaders to have positive conversations about mental health and wellbeing. 

Find out more about our work