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NHS mental health app ‘Kooth’ is a danger to girls

Teenage girls are particularly susceptible to psychic distress. Credit: Getty

July 17, 2023 - 10:45am

Teenage girls are coaching one another in gender ideology, in the guise of a “mental health” app supported by the NHS, according to Transgender Trend. “Kooth” bills itself as “your online mental wellbeing community”, offering “free, safe and anonymous support”. Yet it is riddled with highly politicised trans-activist assumptions and leaves a user base predominantly composed of unhappy adolescent girls largely free to “support” one another in affirming and intensifying their shared gender confusion.

The app seems unperturbed by the recent Cass report on NHS gender identity services, published last year, which criticised the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) for pursuing an “affirmation-only” model of treatment for transgender youth. Even after the closure of GIDS, Kooth hews instead to the now-discredited “affirmation” model endorsed by the highly politicised British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP). 

Last year, the BACP published a controversial memorandum of understanding on “conversion therapy” that prohibited any therapist from exploring how or why a client might identify as transgender. This effectively banned therapists from adopting any position but uncritical affirmation with a client, placing the association at odds with the Cass report.

It’s clear from the Transgender Trend report that this conflict hasn’t been resolved. The deprecated “affirmation” model for gender distress, promoted by the BACP, is still shaping services that are finding their way into NHS provision, in the process undermining the health service’s own efforts to temper the ideological fervour of the gender lobby with due regard for individual circumstances. But perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. If the Cass review revealed services that were rushing children to medical interventions after wildly inadequate therapeutic exploration, this was in no small part due to the fact that therapeutic services are labour-intensive and thus subject to brutal cost pressures. 

Demand for in-person talking therapy wildly outstrips NHS supply — especially for young people, who are, according to multiple reports, in the grip of an acute and growing mental health crisis, even as services aimed at this demographic are overwhelmed. But if you do the sums, it quickly becomes clear why: 1.4 million people were referred for talking therapy in 2020-21, while the going rate for therapists in private practice is £50-100 per hour. Talking therapy, in the quantities necessary to make a difference to the people who need it, would be prohibitively expensive to provide at a rate that would enable therapists to make a living. 

A little over ten years ago, as a trainee psychotherapist, I saw first-hand how the NHS squares the circle: subcontracting to nonprofits, which in turn deliver services using unpaid trainees who need to build up practice hours en route to qualification. Even then, services are overwhelmed. So the NHS can hardly be blamed for seeking ways to deliver support more cost-effectively — and products such as Kooth are the result. 

Kooth operates according to a pyramid model, offering users first a library of “therapeutic” articles (riddled with gender ideology), then “peer support” (online forums where girls reinforce each other’s preoccupations with gender). This is followed by limited in-person assistance for the most acute distress, delivered remotely in a chat window by “Online Emotional Wellbeing Practitioners”: individuals who don’t even need a counselling qualification, are paid £20-26k a year, and moderate the message boards and provide chat-window “emotional support”.

There’s something nightmarish about this scenario. Epidemic levels of (predominantly female) youth psychic distress are being funnelled through a kind of online sausage machine of the soul, in the name of “access”. In that sausage machine, any personalised response is only grudgingly granted, while the very format — disembodied and remote — forecloses any of the non-verbal communication widely understood to play a critical role in an experience of encounter and empathy. 

Starved of in-person presence and empathy, nothing prevents the loneliness and misery of young girls being colonised by the disembodied and dissociative one-size-fits-all ideology of gender. Promising a simple physical fix for often complicated emotional difficulties, it’s perhaps the ultimate bargain-basement solution for price-sensitive healthcare, in an age that’s both overtly concerned with “mental health” and profoundly indifferent to what such health would actually imply.


Mary Harrington is a contributing editor at UnHerd.

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Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
10 months ago

“your online mental wellbeing community”

If that isn’t an oxymoron, I don’t know what is.

Andrew Dalton
Andrew Dalton
10 months ago

“your online mental wellbeing community”

If that isn’t an oxymoron, I don’t know what is.

John Pade
John Pade
10 months ago

Psychiatry should not be relied on for anything. Almost half of the studies it bases its claim to science on can’t be reproduced and replicability declines as findings diverge from common sense. In studies that do replicate, effects are found to be only half as great as those claimed in the original study. See what criminals released on parole do after they’ve been deemed rehabilitated.

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago
Reply to  John Pade

This can’t be said enough John.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  John Pade

Absolutely. The medicalisation of normal adolescent confusion must be one of the most terrifying current trends.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  John Pade

I think you are talking about psychology and you haven’t provided any references.

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago
Reply to  John Pade

This can’t be said enough John.

Hugh Bryant
Hugh Bryant
10 months ago
Reply to  John Pade

Absolutely. The medicalisation of normal adolescent confusion must be one of the most terrifying current trends.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  John Pade

I think you are talking about psychology and you haven’t provided any references.

John Pade
John Pade
10 months ago

Psychiatry should not be relied on for anything. Almost half of the studies it bases its claim to science on can’t be reproduced and replicability declines as findings diverge from common sense. In studies that do replicate, effects are found to be only half as great as those claimed in the original study. See what criminals released on parole do after they’ve been deemed rehabilitated.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
10 months ago

The natural assumption would be that any radical ideology that is proposed to be taught in schools would have to undergo a rigorous public interrogation to assess its legitimacy. When that ideology carries with it so many potential sources of danger to women and children, the burden of proof on those advocating for the radical ideology would be set at a very high bar.
Yet we find that established biological facts have been tossed aside and replaced by a patently absurd gender ideology that has no scientific basis, and all without any commission being set up to delve in to the sordid origins or scientific legitimacy of gender ideology or public debate. This cannot be right.
The essential flaw appears to be that government defers to what are considered legitimate associations of child mental health ‘experts’, psychologists and therapists. Once these were captured by the gender ideologues, their absurd ideas found a direct pathway in to our institutions, including the education system.
The heads of the associations who have adopted gender ideology as a legitimate, provable. phenomenon should be forced to come out on to public platforms and debate their position against who disagree with them. At present they can hide away in their little ivory towers and escape scrutiny. They need to held to account. If they won’t engage in public debate, they should doorstepped and challenged whenever they are out in the open. Hound them until they will engage in debate.

Last edited 10 months ago by Marcus Leach
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

“When that ideology carries with it so many potential sources of danger to women and children …”
That’s the only line in your comment that troubles me, Marcus, and also with Harrington’s article (including its title). Let’s leave women aside, because the article is about girls. It’s true that girls are more likely than boys to be affected by social contagions such as transgenderism. But plenty of boys are demanding dangerous hormone treatments, nonetheless, and having their bodies mutilated as a result of the same hysteria. And plenty of school officials, psychiatrists and surgeons are willing to overlook common sense (let alone medical knowledge and moral scruples) in order to promote this “gender affirming” treatment to both girls and boys.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I’ve just finished reading “Time to Think” about the GIDS service. Far more girls than boys are struggling, and for them the effects of testosterone are far more irreversible than giving oestrogen to boys. Agreed both sexes suffer but both by numbers and experience girls suffer more. And of course the effects on undeluded women in their safe spaces are also far worse.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Compassion is not like money, Alison. No one has a limited budget for compassion. This is not a zero-sum game, because the numbers make no difference in moral terms (although I seriously doubt that much research is even being done on the effects of transgenderism on boys). If transgenderism is a sinister ideology, and it is, then it’s wrong no matter who the victims are.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

No, but public affairs, discussion and policy ought to take account of numbers, rates, and who is most affected!

There are a number of reasons why girls are much more likely to be affected by such social contagions – it used to be termed “hysteria”.

Boys in general are much more resistant to this ideology (thank God) and interestingly there is a wide gap in beliefs as well, with boys much more sceptical of “wokism”.

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-transyouth-topsurgery/

Which doesn’t mean of course boys should be ignored or downplayed. Although on second thoughts with the state of seemingly abysmal ideology ridden counselling and psychiatric services, on second thoughts perhaps it’s better to be ignored!

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew Fisher
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

No, Andrew, discussions of public affairs and government policy must ensure that all people are equal before the law. And, with that in mind, every democracy must reject not only tyranny of the majority but also tyranny of allied minorities. Wokism undermines democracy by opposing equality and replacing it with “equity.” That’s precisely why wokism is a mortal danger to any democracy.
Boys are more resistant than girls to wokism, at least partly, because wokism (which includes transgenderism) explicitly denounces boys and men as an oppressor class and openly advocates discrimination to punish them. Even so, many boys and men succumb to the neuroticism of white (or male) fragility and consequently adopt self-destructive behaviors. Transgenderism is only one kind of self-destructive behavior.

Last edited 10 months ago by Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

No, Andrew, discussions of public affairs and government policy must ensure that all people are equal before the law. And, with that in mind, every democracy must reject not only tyranny of the majority but also tyranny of allied minorities. Wokism undermines democracy by opposing equality and replacing it with “equity.” That’s precisely why wokism is a mortal danger to any democracy.
Boys are more resistant than girls to wokism, at least partly, because wokism (which includes transgenderism) explicitly denounces boys and men as an oppressor class and openly advocates discrimination to punish them. Even so, many boys and men succumb to the neuroticism of white (or male) fragility and consequently adopt self-destructive behaviors. Transgenderism is only one kind of self-destructive behavior.

Last edited 10 months ago by Paul Nathanson
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

No, but public affairs, discussion and policy ought to take account of numbers, rates, and who is most affected!

There are a number of reasons why girls are much more likely to be affected by such social contagions – it used to be termed “hysteria”.

Boys in general are much more resistant to this ideology (thank God) and interestingly there is a wide gap in beliefs as well, with boys much more sceptical of “wokism”.

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-transyouth-topsurgery/

Which doesn’t mean of course boys should be ignored or downplayed. Although on second thoughts with the state of seemingly abysmal ideology ridden counselling and psychiatric services, on second thoughts perhaps it’s better to be ignored!

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew Fisher
Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Alison Wren

Compassion is not like money, Alison. No one has a limited budget for compassion. This is not a zero-sum game, because the numbers make no difference in moral terms (although I seriously doubt that much research is even being done on the effects of transgenderism on boys). If transgenderism is a sinister ideology, and it is, then it’s wrong no matter who the victims are.

Alison Wren
Alison Wren
10 months ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

I’ve just finished reading “Time to Think” about the GIDS service. Far more girls than boys are struggling, and for them the effects of testosterone are far more irreversible than giving oestrogen to boys. Agreed both sexes suffer but both by numbers and experience girls suffer more. And of course the effects on undeluded women in their safe spaces are also far worse.

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

any radical ideology that is proposed to be taught in schools would have to undergo a rigorous public interrogation to assess its legitimacy

And it’s likely long term effects.

But trans ideology is a relative newcomer to education. It’s likely to have had minimal influence on late teens, and limited influence on those at secondary school.

However, we have had an untested ideology at work in our schools for decades, which deliberately calls gender roles into question, places pressure on both sexes to conform (in different ways) to the norms of the opposite sex, and prefers non conformity with gender norms over conformity. That ideology is feminism.

Like it or loathe it (and I see both good and bad in its influence) it is likely to have done much to unsettle concepts of gender and lead to (or reinforce) confusion.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

“When that ideology carries with it so many potential sources of danger to women and children …”
That’s the only line in your comment that troubles me, Marcus, and also with Harrington’s article (including its title). Let’s leave women aside, because the article is about girls. It’s true that girls are more likely than boys to be affected by social contagions such as transgenderism. But plenty of boys are demanding dangerous hormone treatments, nonetheless, and having their bodies mutilated as a result of the same hysteria. And plenty of school officials, psychiatrists and surgeons are willing to overlook common sense (let alone medical knowledge and moral scruples) in order to promote this “gender affirming” treatment to both girls and boys.

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Marcus Leach

any radical ideology that is proposed to be taught in schools would have to undergo a rigorous public interrogation to assess its legitimacy

And it’s likely long term effects.

But trans ideology is a relative newcomer to education. It’s likely to have had minimal influence on late teens, and limited influence on those at secondary school.

However, we have had an untested ideology at work in our schools for decades, which deliberately calls gender roles into question, places pressure on both sexes to conform (in different ways) to the norms of the opposite sex, and prefers non conformity with gender norms over conformity. That ideology is feminism.

Like it or loathe it (and I see both good and bad in its influence) it is likely to have done much to unsettle concepts of gender and lead to (or reinforce) confusion.

Marcus Leach
Marcus Leach
10 months ago

The natural assumption would be that any radical ideology that is proposed to be taught in schools would have to undergo a rigorous public interrogation to assess its legitimacy. When that ideology carries with it so many potential sources of danger to women and children, the burden of proof on those advocating for the radical ideology would be set at a very high bar.
Yet we find that established biological facts have been tossed aside and replaced by a patently absurd gender ideology that has no scientific basis, and all without any commission being set up to delve in to the sordid origins or scientific legitimacy of gender ideology or public debate. This cannot be right.
The essential flaw appears to be that government defers to what are considered legitimate associations of child mental health ‘experts’, psychologists and therapists. Once these were captured by the gender ideologues, their absurd ideas found a direct pathway in to our institutions, including the education system.
The heads of the associations who have adopted gender ideology as a legitimate, provable. phenomenon should be forced to come out on to public platforms and debate their position against who disagree with them. At present they can hide away in their little ivory towers and escape scrutiny. They need to held to account. If they won’t engage in public debate, they should doorstepped and challenged whenever they are out in the open. Hound them until they will engage in debate.

Last edited 10 months ago by Marcus Leach
Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
10 months ago

The idea that crazy, hormonal teenagers can help other crazy hormonal teenagers (without adults guiding the process) is absurd.

Brian Villanueva
Brian Villanueva
10 months ago

The idea that crazy, hormonal teenagers can help other crazy hormonal teenagers (without adults guiding the process) is absurd.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

The phrase “gender-affirming care” is a euphemism for “state-sanctioned sadistic paedophilia”.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Indeed, and, ironically, conversion therapy.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Why “paedophilia”? Are you accusing the “therapists” of sexually abusing the adolescents under their care? Do you have a scrap of evidence for this assertion? Just concatenating a lot of negative words isn’t an argument, though it’s all too common on this forum unfortunately.

Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Indeed, and, ironically, conversion therapy.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

Why “paedophilia”? Are you accusing the “therapists” of sexually abusing the adolescents under their care? Do you have a scrap of evidence for this assertion? Just concatenating a lot of negative words isn’t an argument, though it’s all too common on this forum unfortunately.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago

The phrase “gender-affirming care” is a euphemism for “state-sanctioned sadistic paedophilia”.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago

I saw first-hand how the NHS squares the circle: subcontracting to nonprofits, which in turn deliver services using unpaid trainees who need to build up practice hours en route to qualification.

Yes, when working in education I was once in charge of a department delivering “Counselling and Psychotherapy” courses. Staff shoe-horned students into such non-profit organisations in order to “build up their hours”. I’m not sure it did clients any good, but the amount of confidentiality, safeguarding, radicalisation, and “personal boundaries” paperwork and meetings kept a lot of nice middle-class people in jobs, and allowed them to walk tall as part of a new priestly class.
I’d forgotten about the BACP, to be honest, and it was painful to be reminded of them.

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago

I saw first-hand how the NHS squares the circle: subcontracting to nonprofits, which in turn deliver services using unpaid trainees who need to build up practice hours en route to qualification.

Yes, when working in education I was once in charge of a department delivering “Counselling and Psychotherapy” courses. Staff shoe-horned students into such non-profit organisations in order to “build up their hours”. I’m not sure it did clients any good, but the amount of confidentiality, safeguarding, radicalisation, and “personal boundaries” paperwork and meetings kept a lot of nice middle-class people in jobs, and allowed them to walk tall as part of a new priestly class.
I’d forgotten about the BACP, to be honest, and it was painful to be reminded of them.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago

Author drawing attention to the unintended consequence of the demand/resource gap in the NHS into which inadequate or malign substitutes proliferate. Clearly what any NHS ‘signposting’ exists needs to only publicise ‘approved’ avenues of alternative support. What’s less clear is how well it does this and who is gripping the issue?
More broadly the NHS capacity gap is not closing anytime soon. Does it therefore beg a much tougher national conversation about what is driving the consistent increase in young mental health problems? Yes Covid and Lockdowns had a role, but one could contend the overwhelming primary driver is the explosion last 5-10yrs in youngsters having smart devices and hence constant social media bombardment. One does wonder if we’ll look back in decades to come and reflect it was almost equivalent of reducing the age of legal alcohol consumption when it became the ‘norm’ for anyone under 18 to be set up for such bombardment?

Last edited 10 months ago by j watson
Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

My hunch is that the breakdown of the traditional family and the rise in divorce and cohabitation is the main driver. Kids without the normal role models of mother and father and who lack faith in the stability of anything because their own family was torn apart are very prone to melancholy. Have you ever met the child of divorced parents who didn’t show the effects of this strain?
Sure social media is not great but I think the decline of the family since the 60s, which accelerated in the 1990s, is the real culprit.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I’m sure family breakdown a trigger for many things, both at the time and well into later in life. But I don’t think it explains the explosion in adolescent/child mental health concerns last decade. The unique factor, something we weren’t exposed to, is IMO social media and it’s constancy via Smart technology. The ‘filters’ that once were applied, perhaps without great thought but nonetheless the effect was the same, have loosened dramatically. My kids never had either. My Grandkids do and even with great parents (i’m biased of course) one discerns some difference as a result.

Last edited 10 months ago by j watson
Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I’m fairly certain it – family breakdown – must be a factor and probably a fairly major one. Though certainly not the only factor here. Nor is social media the only factor.
It’s not just family breakdown – if the parents remain together in a dysfunctional relationship, that may be equally disturbing for the children. Bottom line: parents setting poor examples don’t help here.
We also live in a society that encourages and breeds anxiety and children and young people are especially prone to such pressures – we care far too much about what other people may or may not be thinking about us and not enough about being comfortable just being ourselves. Modern media and advertising are built around creating disatisfaction and envy (John Berger’s excellent “Ways of Seeing” first opened my eyes to this).

Last edited 10 months ago by Peter B
Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I heard someone saying on a podcast recently that all seven deadly sins have now been monetized in the internet age.
Left to their own devices, I can imagine a teenage boy spending all day smoking weed and gaming (sloth), watching porn (lust), ordering pizza (gluttony) and fulminating about politics on Twitter (wrath) while his sister puts filtered selfies (pride) on Instagram to try to fit in with the glamourous set she sees there (envy).

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago
Reply to  Peter B

I heard someone saying on a podcast recently that all seven deadly sins have now been monetized in the internet age.
Left to their own devices, I can imagine a teenage boy spending all day smoking weed and gaming (sloth), watching porn (lust), ordering pizza (gluttony) and fulminating about politics on Twitter (wrath) while his sister puts filtered selfies (pride) on Instagram to try to fit in with the glamourous set she sees there (envy).

Peter B
Peter B
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

I’m fairly certain it – family breakdown – must be a factor and probably a fairly major one. Though certainly not the only factor here. Nor is social media the only factor.
It’s not just family breakdown – if the parents remain together in a dysfunctional relationship, that may be equally disturbing for the children. Bottom line: parents setting poor examples don’t help here.
We also live in a society that encourages and breeds anxiety and children and young people are especially prone to such pressures – we care far too much about what other people may or may not be thinking about us and not enough about being comfortable just being ourselves. Modern media and advertising are built around creating disatisfaction and envy (John Berger’s excellent “Ways of Seeing” first opened my eyes to this).

Last edited 10 months ago by Peter B
Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I’d be inclined to blame both. You also can’t say this nowadays, but single Mums struggle to raise boys.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

It’s probably a factor but the timescales are completely out. There has been a huge recent rise in mental distress, the traditional family was in huge decline many decades ago.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I’m sure family breakdown a trigger for many things, both at the time and well into later in life. But I don’t think it explains the explosion in adolescent/child mental health concerns last decade. The unique factor, something we weren’t exposed to, is IMO social media and it’s constancy via Smart technology. The ‘filters’ that once were applied, perhaps without great thought but nonetheless the effect was the same, have loosened dramatically. My kids never had either. My Grandkids do and even with great parents (i’m biased of course) one discerns some difference as a result.

Last edited 10 months ago by j watson
Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

I’d be inclined to blame both. You also can’t say this nowadays, but single Mums struggle to raise boys.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  Matt M

It’s probably a factor but the timescales are completely out. There has been a huge recent rise in mental distress, the traditional family was in huge decline many decades ago.

N Satori
N Satori
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

More pro-NHS propaganda from you watson. What a surprise! Didn’t you mention just a few short months ago that you either were or currently are an NHS apparatchik of some sort?

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Your tendency to play the man not the ball there again NS, but regardless on this item I would concur NHS mental health services need better oversight of these intermediary services and may be too compliant.
The theme exists in other countries too of course.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago
Reply to  N Satori

Your tendency to play the man not the ball there again NS, but regardless on this item I would concur NHS mental health services need better oversight of these intermediary services and may be too compliant.
The theme exists in other countries too of course.

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

The plain fact is that we don’t know why. So many things have been changing at the same time. Other factors may include increasingly ambitious middle class parents who push their kids too hard and pass on to them their own narcissistic values.

Could it be that, faced with a future that fills them with anxiety and trepidation, and which they wish to escape, children are looking desperately for ways to escape – into suicide, mental ill health or a belief that changing their gender will help. Because, as they are now, they feel that they are not good enough, and are not coping.

Matt M
Matt M
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

My hunch is that the breakdown of the traditional family and the rise in divorce and cohabitation is the main driver. Kids without the normal role models of mother and father and who lack faith in the stability of anything because their own family was torn apart are very prone to melancholy. Have you ever met the child of divorced parents who didn’t show the effects of this strain?
Sure social media is not great but I think the decline of the family since the 60s, which accelerated in the 1990s, is the real culprit.

N Satori
N Satori
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

More pro-NHS propaganda from you watson. What a surprise! Didn’t you mention just a few short months ago that you either were or currently are an NHS apparatchik of some sort?

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  j watson

The plain fact is that we don’t know why. So many things have been changing at the same time. Other factors may include increasingly ambitious middle class parents who push their kids too hard and pass on to them their own narcissistic values.

Could it be that, faced with a future that fills them with anxiety and trepidation, and which they wish to escape, children are looking desperately for ways to escape – into suicide, mental ill health or a belief that changing their gender will help. Because, as they are now, they feel that they are not good enough, and are not coping.

j watson
j watson
10 months ago

Author drawing attention to the unintended consequence of the demand/resource gap in the NHS into which inadequate or malign substitutes proliferate. Clearly what any NHS ‘signposting’ exists needs to only publicise ‘approved’ avenues of alternative support. What’s less clear is how well it does this and who is gripping the issue?
More broadly the NHS capacity gap is not closing anytime soon. Does it therefore beg a much tougher national conversation about what is driving the consistent increase in young mental health problems? Yes Covid and Lockdowns had a role, but one could contend the overwhelming primary driver is the explosion last 5-10yrs in youngsters having smart devices and hence constant social media bombardment. One does wonder if we’ll look back in decades to come and reflect it was almost equivalent of reducing the age of legal alcohol consumption when it became the ‘norm’ for anyone under 18 to be set up for such bombardment?

Last edited 10 months ago by j watson
UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago

How can the NHS possibly support this model of gender-affirming care when it has been declared ‘unsafe’ by the Cass Review and the Tavistock GIDS clinic closed down? All the professional psychological/psychotherapeutic bodies, including the BACP have been ‘captured’ by activists and are no longer fit for purpose. So their endorsement counts for nothing. In fact it should be seen as a ‘red flag’ and avoided at all costs. See the book ‘Cynical Therapies’ on Amazon and the Critical Therapy Antidote website to find out more.

Last edited 10 months ago by UnHerd Reader
Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I think the answer to your question is two words – The Blob.
Modern democratic societies are not run by parliaments or presidents, but by a network of agencies and NGOs, staffed by various “experts” with contempt for ordinary people. These agencies are subject to the first law of oligarchy – namely that the core principle of each of these agencies is its own survival. As such, the catastrophic policy advice given out by these agencies over recent decades actually helps them – it’s an excuse to double down and demand more yet more taxpayer money.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
10 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

I think the answer to your question is two words – The Blob.
Modern democratic societies are not run by parliaments or presidents, but by a network of agencies and NGOs, staffed by various “experts” with contempt for ordinary people. These agencies are subject to the first law of oligarchy – namely that the core principle of each of these agencies is its own survival. As such, the catastrophic policy advice given out by these agencies over recent decades actually helps them – it’s an excuse to double down and demand more yet more taxpayer money.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
10 months ago

How can the NHS possibly support this model of gender-affirming care when it has been declared ‘unsafe’ by the Cass Review and the Tavistock GIDS clinic closed down? All the professional psychological/psychotherapeutic bodies, including the BACP have been ‘captured’ by activists and are no longer fit for purpose. So their endorsement counts for nothing. In fact it should be seen as a ‘red flag’ and avoided at all costs. See the book ‘Cynical Therapies’ on Amazon and the Critical Therapy Antidote website to find out more.

Last edited 10 months ago by UnHerd Reader
Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
10 months ago

We are currently living in an economic model that needs people to be sick, stupid, and self-obsessed in order to extract profit from them.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
10 months ago

We are currently living in an economic model that needs people to be sick, stupid, and self-obsessed in order to extract profit from them.

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
10 months ago

What exactly are the conservatives for?

Stephen Quilley
Stephen Quilley
10 months ago

What exactly are the conservatives for?

Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago

Why is it called “Kooth”?
The young London black guy on their video (or the actor pretending to be one) is required to pronounce it “Koof”, which is a bit awkward.
I had no idea about it. Googling it, you see that local authorities and schools across the country are enthusiastically endorsing it, in its own terms. “Got a problem? Click on this…now would you mind leaving, as I’ve got some more uploading to the council’s Mental Health Portal to get done before lunch…”

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

One ray of hope is that the app may become so associated with authorities (of all flavours) that it’ll start to lose its cachet.
A more appropriate name would be unKooth.

Last edited 10 months ago by Steve Murray
Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

*unKoof

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
10 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

*unKoof

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
10 months ago
Reply to  Simon Neale

One ray of hope is that the app may become so associated with authorities (of all flavours) that it’ll start to lose its cachet.
A more appropriate name would be unKooth.

Last edited 10 months ago by Steve Murray
Simon Neale
Simon Neale
10 months ago

Why is it called “Kooth”?
The young London black guy on their video (or the actor pretending to be one) is required to pronounce it “Koof”, which is a bit awkward.
I had no idea about it. Googling it, you see that local authorities and schools across the country are enthusiastically endorsing it, in its own terms. “Got a problem? Click on this…now would you mind leaving, as I’ve got some more uploading to the council’s Mental Health Portal to get done before lunch…”

Annette Lawson
Annette Lawson
10 months ago

This sounds like an AI disaster zone but it is apparently written by humans. What on earth can be done to stop this APP exacerbating the already socially contagious ideology that enables so many teenage girls to see gender change as the remedy for their distress?

Annette Lawson
Annette Lawson
10 months ago

This sounds like an AI disaster zone but it is apparently written by humans. What on earth can be done to stop this APP exacerbating the already socially contagious ideology that enables so many teenage girls to see gender change as the remedy for their distress?

Chris Dawes
Chris Dawes
10 months ago

The subversion and exploitation of the resource and management crisis within the NHS has left a whole generation of confused adolescents exposed to an extreme variant of what might be termed Social Munchausens by proxy. The abject failure of successive governments to reign in the outsourcing of management and medical services to profit led organisations has left administrative chaos and a moral and ethical vacuum at the heart of our National Health. This lacuna is now being colonised by fanatics with an agenda based on bad science and delusional intolerance . The passive-aggressive new-speak of the wokist warrior targets and subsumes those with genuine issues of gender and identity into the broader miserabilism of modern adolescence . Grammatical illiteracy and an agenda of victim-hood and offence bind and isolate adherents in the power-tripping cul-de-sac of Cancel Culture , turbo-charging gender politics with linguistic irrelevance and procedural abuse . It’s all a massive diversion of time and resources, eroding the opportunity and means essential to reform and reorganisation The government’s continuing failure to address or deal effectively with the pronoun idiocy of Woke and latent fascism of Cancel Culture is a failure which they, and indeed the rest of us may yet have reason to regret most of all .

Chris Dawes
Chris Dawes
10 months ago

The subversion and exploitation of the resource and management crisis within the NHS has left a whole generation of confused adolescents exposed to an extreme variant of what might be termed Social Munchausens by proxy. The abject failure of successive governments to reign in the outsourcing of management and medical services to profit led organisations has left administrative chaos and a moral and ethical vacuum at the heart of our National Health. This lacuna is now being colonised by fanatics with an agenda based on bad science and delusional intolerance . The passive-aggressive new-speak of the wokist warrior targets and subsumes those with genuine issues of gender and identity into the broader miserabilism of modern adolescence . Grammatical illiteracy and an agenda of victim-hood and offence bind and isolate adherents in the power-tripping cul-de-sac of Cancel Culture , turbo-charging gender politics with linguistic irrelevance and procedural abuse . It’s all a massive diversion of time and resources, eroding the opportunity and means essential to reform and reorganisation The government’s continuing failure to address or deal effectively with the pronoun idiocy of Woke and latent fascism of Cancel Culture is a failure which they, and indeed the rest of us may yet have reason to regret most of all .

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
10 months ago

Parents are failing their children dismally. Too few are speaking up. There’s a shocking failure of courage. What could be more important than protecting your children.

Miriam Cotton
Miriam Cotton
10 months ago

Parents are failing their children dismally. Too few are speaking up. There’s a shocking failure of courage. What could be more important than protecting your children.

Jamie White
Jamie White
10 months ago

We need to be asking what agendas those behind Kooth may have.

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/12526594/officers

Jamie White
Jamie White
10 months ago

We need to be asking what agendas those behind Kooth may have.

https://find-and-update.company-information.service.gov.uk/company/12526594/officers

William Shaw
William Shaw
10 months ago

What is it about the female species that makes them physically, emotionally and psychologically weaker than males?
Articles like this shine a more favourable light on middle eastern culture.

Last edited 10 months ago by William Shaw
Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
10 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

My eldest daughter’s last day at primary school last month.
She recounted the very different behaviours exhibited by the P7 (leaver class, all aged 11).
She was incredulous – as she said: “they’re leaving too – and it’s a big change – so immature – to think that we’ve been sharing a class with those clowns!”.
Apparently, while the girls were busy exchanging friendship bracelets, hugging and crying and noting each others’ contact details, the P7 boys were taking off their shoes and chasing each other shouting “smell my shoe” and kicking each other up the arse, while laughing uproariously : )
That fundamental difference in how the sexes bond is why young girls are much more susceptible to this therapy carry-on.  

William Shaw
William Shaw
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Sounds like “those clowns” are far more resilient than females who consider them inferior.

Chris J
Chris J
10 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Surely it’s the other way round as you expressed earlier.

In the west young men are three to four times more likely to commit suicide than girls. So not really so resilient

I expect you blame that on females too.

Chris J
Chris J
10 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Surely it’s the other way round as you expressed earlier.

In the west young men are three to four times more likely to commit suicide than girls. So not really so resilient

I expect you blame that on females too.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Yes, that’s exactly right.

William Shaw
William Shaw
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Sounds like “those clowns” are far more resilient than females who consider them inferior.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  Frank McCusker

Yes, that’s exactly right.

Chris J
Chris J
10 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

What is it about the male species that makes them so violent arrogant, lacking in empathy and desiring to control and restrict females.

David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris J

I don’t know. People criticising them all the time?

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris J

Eh? Where did that come from and what on Earth does it have to with the article?. Are you one of these ‘violent and arrogant’ males by the way?!

But – biological reality here, which most progressives are either completely ignorant of or in denial about:

Men are stronger than women for a start! So it’s pretty obvious why more women get hurt by men than vice versa. Although women quite often are very hostile to other women and exert power over them in other ways, especially over sexual jealousy.

Human beings evolved in small band societies which were (and are) usually very hostile to each other. Men went to war – the death rates higher than in modern war, and yes might well abduct the women of a neighbouring band. (I’m not saying “tribe” here – that’s a much larger and later unit). To be crude, the men get speared and the women get raped.

People’s behaviour can of course be significantly moderated towards the norms of a society by strong socialisation. But there are limits, and the out-and-out assertion that either men and women are exactly the same (except for some unfathomably “toxic” males), or even that women are in every way superior, lies very far beyond this line.

I’m not at all defending men who use violence against women, but we do need to understand it better. It seems that the endless suppression of natural male behaviour which is now the cultural norm might not be the best way to go about it. Nor ineffectual public messaging such as on the London Underground.

https://unherd.com/thepost/tfls-campaign-against-sexual-violence-wont-work-maaate/

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew Fisher
David Morley
David Morley
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris J

I don’t know. People criticising them all the time?

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
10 months ago
Reply to  Chris J

Eh? Where did that come from and what on Earth does it have to with the article?. Are you one of these ‘violent and arrogant’ males by the way?!

But – biological reality here, which most progressives are either completely ignorant of or in denial about:

Men are stronger than women for a start! So it’s pretty obvious why more women get hurt by men than vice versa. Although women quite often are very hostile to other women and exert power over them in other ways, especially over sexual jealousy.

Human beings evolved in small band societies which were (and are) usually very hostile to each other. Men went to war – the death rates higher than in modern war, and yes might well abduct the women of a neighbouring band. (I’m not saying “tribe” here – that’s a much larger and later unit). To be crude, the men get speared and the women get raped.

People’s behaviour can of course be significantly moderated towards the norms of a society by strong socialisation. But there are limits, and the out-and-out assertion that either men and women are exactly the same (except for some unfathomably “toxic” males), or even that women are in every way superior, lies very far beyond this line.

I’m not at all defending men who use violence against women, but we do need to understand it better. It seems that the endless suppression of natural male behaviour which is now the cultural norm might not be the best way to go about it. Nor ineffectual public messaging such as on the London Underground.

https://unherd.com/thepost/tfls-campaign-against-sexual-violence-wont-work-maaate/

Last edited 10 months ago by Andrew Fisher
Frank McCusker
Frank McCusker
10 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

My eldest daughter’s last day at primary school last month.
She recounted the very different behaviours exhibited by the P7 (leaver class, all aged 11).
She was incredulous – as she said: “they’re leaving too – and it’s a big change – so immature – to think that we’ve been sharing a class with those clowns!”.
Apparently, while the girls were busy exchanging friendship bracelets, hugging and crying and noting each others’ contact details, the P7 boys were taking off their shoes and chasing each other shouting “smell my shoe” and kicking each other up the arse, while laughing uproariously : )
That fundamental difference in how the sexes bond is why young girls are much more susceptible to this therapy carry-on.  

Chris J
Chris J
10 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

What is it about the male species that makes them so violent arrogant, lacking in empathy and desiring to control and restrict females.

William Shaw
William Shaw
10 months ago

What is it about the female species that makes them physically, emotionally and psychologically weaker than males?
Articles like this shine a more favourable light on middle eastern culture.

Last edited 10 months ago by William Shaw