When you consider how much time young people spend talking to their friends online or on their phones, it is not surprising that some are more comfortable talking to their support workers in this way too.

E-support, sometimes called telephone or online counselling, is a form of drug and alcohol outreach that some young people may prefer, and engage better in, than face to face sessions.

A drug and alcohol worker is still there to provide counselling, referral to local services and assess drug and alcohol and mental health issues however, a young person is not required to attend an office – or even leave their home for that matter.

For young people who do not have a safe, private place to access a computer, offering them use of a school computer or phone in a place where they can comfortably talk to their worker may be helpful. 

Some young people may prefer and engage better with online support than than face to face sessions

Though there are many benefits to e-support, it is not suitable for everyone. Young people who do not have a stable home and who are still working to get basic needs met may be better suited to face –to face options where workers can meet with them for a meal and help them organise things like housing and transport. Likewise, young people who’s substance use puts them at great risk, benefit from face to face catch ups with a worker who can check that they are OK and get them medical help if needed.

Think e-support might be a good option for your student? Some e-support services YoDAA recommends are e-headspace and counselling online (not specifically for young people).