An estimated 83 million people across Europe suffer from some form of mental health problem, often originating from experiences early in life.
A new website developed by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (NHSGGC) has been launched specifically to promote mental health and wellbeing in young people.
The Aye Mind website www.ayemind.com was launched at the Golden Jubilee Conference Centre attended by the young people who led its development along with partners Snook, Young Scot, and the Mental Health Foundation.
Taking in a wide range of health, social care, education and voluntary sector organisations, the website evolved from an earlier programme, Project 99. Set up in 2014, Project 99 was awarded an EU grant of €150,000 to develop a website and online tools to offer positive mental health support for young people aged 13-21.
Project lead, Dr Trevor Lakey, Health Improvement and Inequalities Manager with NHSGGC, said: “The internet and social media often generates negative coverage.
“However Project 99 and its successor Aye Mind show there is significant potential for using digital resources to support young people’s wellbeing. We like to see Aye Mind as almost a Tripadvisor service for the mind – it’s a guide to the positive services out there.
“Young people have been actively involved throughout this development. The event is designed to be both the official launch of the site, but also bring everyone together in one room to evaluate the whole process from start to finish.
“It’s a full day event where we’ll explore areas including youth engagement, digital inclusion and 5Rights, what’s next for the resource and a number of workshops.
“It’s important that the people Aye Mind was developed for not only feel that the website meets their needs, but also that they played a central role in its development throughout.
The young people also devised and developed a series of GIFs to feature on the website. These highlight the issues the young people identified as the most important to tackle, including online bullying, social media addiction and the value of reaching out to friends in need.
The second aspect of the site is a resource toolkit for youth-related workers. This includes information on how they can better help young people with their mental health and wellbeing, signposting them to appropriate information.
Project 99 was one of five successful applicants (from 106 applicants) from all over Europe to receive this money from the CHEST (Collective enHanced Environment for Social Tasks) project.
As the work has got underway, Project 99 morphed into Aye Mind, a name put forward by young people to be used to support a range of youth-focused campaigns and dialogues as the work progresses.