YOUNG people with mental health issues are being helped by an online counselling service.

Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group (RCCG) is funding and piloting Kooth, a free programme enabling teens with issues to talk anonymously to advisers.

According to RCCG, 80 per cent of young people who have registered use it regularly and 90 per cent of users would recommend it to a friend.

Dr Raj Kumar, mental health clinical lead for RCCG, urges teens to be frank about their issues so they can manage difficult emotions in the long run.

He says: “We want to help our teenagers understand how to lead healthy lives, and an essential part of this is understanding how to manage feelings.

“Talking about your emotions as a teenager is really important to help you manage your mental health as an adult.

“If you’re worried about your teenager but they won’t open up to you, try recommending Kooth to them as they often find it easier to talk to someone who is independent.”

Children’s mental health week runs from February 5 to 11.