Lifestyle

App for young people to discuss personal struggles developed

Young people in Greenwich can discuss their personal struggles on an anonymous peer support app, thanks to an initiative by mental health service MeeToo.

MeeToo is delivering support to children and young people in Greenwich via their free, award-winning digital support app.

The project, funded by the NHS funding arm SBRI Healthcare, has been set up to support all young people in Greenwich, with a focus on addressing health inequalities.

A total of £431,713 is being allocated to MeeToo for its work in the borough.

The focus will be on groups thought particularly vulnerable, such as ethnic minorities, the LGBT+ community and those with autism and learning difficulties.

Among Greenwich children and young people, MeeToo says local data and national trends estimate that 26,600 are BME (62 per cent), 8,900 are LGBT+ (20 per cent), 18,000 are in poverty (42 per cent), and 6,200 have learning disabilities (14.4 per cent).

“These groups tend to experience mental health disorders at a higher rate than the general population, and they may also face health inequalities that make it harder for them to get the support that they need,” said the organisation.

Every month, 6,000 young people aged 11-25 across the UK use the MeeToo app to talk about difficult things with other people their age and to access a directory of mental health self-management tools.

Many are suffering from issues such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders and self-harm, and they can respond to each other’s posts with advice, share their own experiences, or click ‘MeeToo’ to show they are not alone.

All posts and replies are checked by moderators before they go live and higher risk posts receive support from in-house counsellors.

An independent study showed that using the MeeToo app helps young people to feel better, more confident and less alone and they also learn new ways to help themselves.

MeeToo will work closely with the Greenwich community to produce resources that are culturally relevant and meaningful to local young people. They are calling on anyone who works with young people aged 11-25 to promote the support available.

Suzi Godson, Co-founder of MeeToo Mental Help Service, said: “Mental health problems affect around one in six children but young people don’t always feel comfortable telling someone that they are struggling.

“Even when they do, they can face long waiting lists for specialist services. We aim to support the hardest to reach young people and provide a free, safe, anonymous tool for them to get and give immediate support.”

Data from the MeeToo Mental Help Service will provide the NHS, local authorities and schools with vital information on engagement, impact and mental health outcomes and help people working with children and young people to offer better, more targeted support.

(Picture: Jose Luis Navarro)

 

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