New mental health service launches in Gloucestershire

Gloucestershire County Council has announced the first in a series of new mental health services, designed to help people during the coronavirus pandemic.

Anyone over 18 in Gloucestershire can now access free anonymous counselling from qualified counsellors via an online chat based platform at

Chats can be accessed through a drop-in service or booked sessions; there is no referral needed from a health professional, no waiting lists, and no criteria to meet to get support.

Qwell, which is provided by XenZone, is designed for people experiencing issues with their emotional wellbeing, such as anxiety, low mood or stress.

The site has a range of self-help tools, including friendly online discussion boards to connect with people having similar experiences, journals and goal trackers, and self-help articles with the option to contribute your own experiences or advice.

The Qwell platform is the first of a new package of mental health support to launch and will work alongside existing mental health services in the county to make sure there is a range of options for people depending on their need.

‘This is a challenging time for everyone and it’s totally normal to feel stressed or worried,’ said cabinet member for public health and communities, Cllr Tim Harman.

‘We know this situation is likely to increase people’s anxiety about their health, jobs or relationships, and these factors, along with social isolation, can have an impact on your mental wellbeing.

‘If you’re feeling this way, please reach out for support. Qwell is a safe, confidential environment to get help and, as well as free counselling, there is also lots of advice on there about steps you can take to look after your mental health.’

Photo Credit – Chezbeate (Pixabay)


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