Why do young people use online forums for mental health and emotional support? Benefits and challenges

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A qualitative approach was used to explore young people’s experiences of using synchronous and asynchronous online forums to gain insight into the use of online services for mental health. Nineteen young people took part in two online synchronous focus groups facilitated by the online counselling service, KOOTH.com. Inductive thematic analysis indicated that forums do not replace the role of a counsellor, they provide a valuable place for young people to gain additional, lower level support requirements. Individuals suggested the forums were supportive environments where they felt able to interact to share helpful advice and ask questions, making them feel less alone and more connected to others. Issues of concern were around the affordances of the site and technical issues.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
JournalBritish Journal of Guidance and Counselling
Early online date20 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019