Love it or loathe it – digital and social media is here to stay. During co-production work with young people developing the Aye Mind site; they invariably told us that when they have personal issues they go online to find a solution. In less than a lifetime, digital devices and the internet have infiltrated every corner of our lives. Digital is the medium by which most young people conduct their lives, and is an ideal way to integrate additional support with existing offline support as 99% of 12-25 year olds are spending more than an hour a day on their smartphones and online. They are familiar with digital tools and know their way around them, plus some of the characteristics of the online world – anonymity and privacy – make it easier to talk about sensitive, potentially embarrassing subjects like their own mental health.
Young people today are growing up in a digital world; their lives have been changed by it, for better or worse. Young people don’t see a distinction between their online and offline lives and as staff who support young people we have a duty to recognise how they use digital media. Staff working with young people have a duty to know how young people use digital media to support them to make safe and informative choices.
As part of www.ayemind.com we developed a toolkit to help support staff working with young people to support their mental health and wellbeing. This toolkit includes practical information, case studies, online resources and reflection material for anyone interested in learning more about digital technology, health and wellbeing. In addition to the toolkit there are a wide range of tools and resources including signposting to websites and apps. Incorporating digital supports such as Apps, webinars, and online stress control classes into daily self-care routine will help us in these challenging times. See here before you start. http://ayemind.com/toolkit/before-you-start/
Also check out https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/category/mental-health/ where you will find a wide range of apps and resources that are assessed against a range of NHS standards.