High School students in the School District of Philadelphia can now receive mental health services through Kooth, a digital mental health platform designed to provide youths with helpful resources.
“The mental health of our students remains a top priority,” said School District of Philadelphia superintendent Tony Watlington Sr. in a statement responding to the violence and trauma students face in their communities.
Beginning February 21, District high school students will have 24/7 free access to Kooth, which includes professional and peer support, counseling sessions, and self-help tools such as daily journaling and mental health forums. Students and parents can sign up by visiting Kooth's SDOP website and following instructions to register on the website or the District's video guide.
Through Kooth, thousands of Philly students can now seek online mental health alongside the support of school counselors and other services including Philly HopeLine, a helpline for emotional support in partnership with the School District. On top of that, 30 school districts followed suit in partnering with Kooth to provide mental health services for students across Pennsylvania, sharing access to over 80,000 high school students in the state who may need it.
While students are receiving an online mental health benefit for the first time, District employees continue to have access to Lyra Health, an emotional support service for employees and dependents.
Student mental health concerns have become an increasing topic of discussion in classrooms across the nation. The CDC reports that nearly one-third of U.S. high school students experienced poor mental health and more than two-thirds experienced emotional distress.
Throughout the country, schools have been making progress in an effort to offer students more mental health resources to address low mental health rates. Mental health days, school-based therapists, and various wellbeing programs like Kooth have been implemented as a result in hopes of promoting a more supportive community for students.