A consortium headed up by Scotland’s biggest health board has been awarded a major EU grant to support digital innovation by creating web and social media resources offering positive mental health support for young people.
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC), together with partners Snook, Young Scot and Mental Health Foundation, have received 150,000 euros from the EU CHEST fund, the only successful UK bid.
Other awards have been made to projects in Spain and Italy.
The focus of this project - which will run for 12 months from January 2015 - is to further develop digital approaches to youth mental health.
It will build on NHSGGC’s successful “Project 99” development work with young people conducted during 2013 and will aim at supporting young people aged between 13-21 years.
The award was announced on Friday November 21 at the European Conference in Applications of Enabling Technologies at the Teacher Building in Glasgow.
Dr Trevor Lakey, Health Improvement and Inequalities Manager – Mental Health, Alcohol and Drugs at the Health Board, said: “With our core partners Snook, Young Scot and Mental Health Foundation we are delighted to have been awarded finance via the CHEST fund, which will allow us to continue to develop this vital area of work.
“While the web and social media often generates negative coverage, our initial work via Project 99 shows there is significant positive potential in using digital resources to support young people’s wellbeing.
“Crucially, young people will be actively involved throughout this development, which will produce new digital resources in the form of an interactive web-portal for wellbeing.
“This will include finding better ways to support young people in looking out for the wellbeing of their peers.
“The second part will be to devise a resource toolkit for youth workers, school staff other youth-related workers, about how they can better help young people and guide them to appropriate information – including better use of digital assets. This will be shared across Europe when complete.”
Dr Mark O’Neill, Director of Policy and Research at Glasgow Life – who will be one of the development partners – commented:
"Project 99 provides Glasgow Life with a powerful opportunity to learn how we can shape our services around the wellbeing needs of young people via social media.
“We are committed to understanding better how the scale of what we do can be harnessed to improving mental health which we believe is fundamental to enabling Glaswegians to live more positive and healthier lives.”
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Notes to Editors
Building on first phase of Project 99
This EU-funded work will be the second phase of Project 99, launched in March of 2014, which set the tone for a new way of interacting with young people aged between 15-21 years through social media channels. This work showed that young people have valuable insights into the positive and negative impacts of the digital world on their lives, and that they have much to offer in contributing to the design of new resources and strategies for promoting wellbeing.
The reports from the first exploratory phase of Project 99 work can be downloaded from the following website: http://www.wegot99.com/
CHEST (Collective enHanced Environment for Social Tasks) is a 30 month Research and Development project supported under the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme to promote the development of digital based innovations that have the potential to address key societal challenges. In addition to the development of an online community platform (www.chest-project.eu) that will facilitate the sharing and exchanging of ideas, the CHEST project will also invest up to €2.5 million in seed finance for highly innovative digital based technologies, concepts and systems that address a specific societal challenge.
There were 106 applicants to the 2nd call for CHEST, with five successful awards, including the Project 99 bid from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and partners, with two each from Italy and Spain.