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.”