Digital products being developed to support young people's mental health

4 February 2013

The latest statistics reflect that mental health problems affect around one in ten children and young people. Today, to help combat this problem, the Innovation Labs Project, a partnership between Comic Relief, Nominet Trust, Paul Hamlyn Foundation and the Mental Health Foundation, is delighted to announce the award of around £375,000 of grants to seven organisations to develop digital products to support young people's mental health.

For the Innovation Labs project, young people have worked with mental health and digital professionals to co-design the seven ideas for development. All ideas utilise digital technology to ultimately provide highly personalised services and support. The announcement is being made on 4 February at the Right Here Showcase Event, chaired by Gregor Henderson, Wellbeing and Public Mental Health Adviser at the Department of Health.  
The seven products will be developed between February 2013 and June 2014 by the seven organisations (sometimes working with partners), including those spanning the youth, mental health, design, marketing and technology sectors. The organisations were selected from 22 applications and combine a wide range of expertise throughout the voluntary, statutory and private sectors, as well as a good geographic cover with both local and national remits.

Gemma, Innovation Labs Young Board Member, said: “I'm enthusiastic about the project as it identifies a very current and urgent area of development. Social media is huge at the moment and currently there is very little to support young people and their mental health.

“I think this project has the power to educate, and give young people the chance to take responsibility for their mental wellbeing.”

The products to be developed are:

• Mind's Eye: An online mood monitoring and wellbeing tool to maintain good mental health that reflects and links moods to young people's everyday lives will be developed by Mindapples / Unboxed Consulting

• Madlyinlove: A website dedicated to young people's relationships and mental health issues, offering support and information to young people with mental health problems and their partners will be created by YouthNet

• Doc Ready: A digital tool which will support young people to ensure that when they visit their GP they use their consultation time effectively will be created by Enabled By Design / Neontribe / Futuregov / Social Spider

• Medfacts: A straightforward and reliable online information and advice service on how prescribed drugs may influence mental and physical health will be developed by YoungMinds / Tictoc

• Keep the trust: A sympathetic online support, advice and informal training service that can be used to support adult non-health professionals, who have been identified by young people as influential or important people in their lives, will be built by sixteen25 / Cernis

• My Places: An online tool that maps local services and helps young people to identify reliable and trustworthy support networks, with the ability to rate services and leave feedback will be created by SussexCentral YMCA / VividBrighton / Right Here Brighton and Hove / Mind Brighton and Hove

• MiniMe: An interactive recovery guide that uses personal information inputted by the user on their activity, environment and mood, with the ability to issue an alert to friends and family when in need of support: FACT (Foundation for Arts and Creative Technology) / RedNinja / Mersey Care NHS Trust

All organisations will be involving young people in the product development through co-design and co-production processes, and the Innovation Labs partners will work closely with grantees to create the Innovation Labs community and share learning from the product development amongst grantees and more widely.

Annika Small, Chief Executive of Nominet Trust, said: “It has been fascinating to watch this programme unfold. The starting point for the Innovation Labs was to engage young people with mental health issues and connect them with youth workers, mental health professionals and technology experts to develop ways to improve mental wellbeing.

“Nominet Trust is passionate about digital technology as a force for social good so we are delighted to see the culmination of the Innovation Labs' co-design process: the development of a suite of digital apps that has the potential to transform the lives of young people with mental health problems.”

The Right Here Showcase event explores the range of ways that young can be involved in designing services to support their mental health will take place on 4th February 2013 at The Welcome Collection, 183 Euston Road, NW1 2BE, with the Innovation Labs launch announcement at 3:45pm.