A new digital support service for victims and witnesses of crime is now available for people in the West Midlands.
The web service, called Qwell, is designed to support the emotional and mental health of people when they need it most and can be quicker than traditional ‘in person’ support services because it is available 24/7 and has no waiting lists.
The online service provides access to live counselling, peer support communities, forums and magazine articles. It is available to all adults reporting crimes to the police in the West Midlands and is aimed to compliment the services already commissioned across the region for children and young people.
The service, run by Kooth, is totally anonymous and can be accessed at any time. It is in addition to a host of other services that are already available across the West Midlands.
The Qwell website is delivered by Kooth – a digital mental health and wellbeing platform that is accredited by the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.
The Police and Crime Commissioner and West Midlands Police have helped put the new service in place, at a cost of £32,000.
West Midlands Victims’ Commissioner Nicky Brennan, said: “The Police and Crime Commissioner set out clearly in his new Police and Crime Plan that we always prioritise the needs of victims and witnesses and I hope this new service will go some way to do that.
“This wellbeing hub provides 24/7 access for victims and witnesses to receive self-help, peer and professional support at the touch of a button and is a fantastic addition to the services already on offer for those people that need them most.
Meanwhile, ACC Claire Bell said: “We’re pleased to support the commissioning of the QWELL online service in conjunction with the Police and Crime Commissioner and to get it up and running at a time when victims of the most serious crimes need it most.
“The back log in the court system caused by the Covid pandemic will inevitably have an effect on the wellbeing of victims who have been put through the most harrowing of experiences and are having to wait for their day in court.
“Victims are entitled to a good level of service from us under the Victims’ Code of practice and this will ensure that they can access emotional support whenever they need it.
“In conjunction with the launch, we’ve also secured funding for nationally-accredited programmes to upskill our officers and staff so they are better able to identify victims of trauma when it isn’t always so obvious. This will enable them to better recognise when someone is a victim and signpost them to the QWELL online service appropriately.”
Dr Lynne Green, Chief Clinical Officer at Kooth added “A traumatic event, such as being a victim of or witnessing a crime, can leave a lasting impact on our mental health if not appropriately addressed.
“Although everyone’s responses will differ, it’s normal to experience a range of emotional reactions, such as feeling frightened, anxious or angry. Specialist support can be critical in helping you through these difficult times and to make sense of what has happened as well as providing helpful tips to reduce any potential long term negative impacts.”Back to News Archive