Empowering young people to make informed decisions about their mental health
A new initiative has launched today to help young people have more engagement in mental health support and to give them a greater say in the treatment they receive and the outcomes they desire.
On My Mind is a new website developed by the Anna Freud Centre that provides young people the opportunity to make informed decisions about their own mental health and wellbeing.
On My Mind is an easy and safe way for young people to access clinically-approved information online. The pages have been co-produced by young people, including the Centre’s Young Champions, to help other young people.
The new website has nine digital resources, seven of which have gone live today with the other two following in November. These resources include:
- the Youth Wellbeing Directory which allows you to search for free mental health services by postcode or name for those up to age 25;
- a Jargon Buster to help young people understand medical terms in simple language;
- films and Q&As about Receiving Support from services and Understanding Referrals;
- Helping Someone Else offers tips and advice from young people about how to help a friend or family member;
- Know Your Rights allows young people to be empowered to make their own informed decisions.
These new resources come at a time of increased concern about the mental health of young people with figures showing the number of adolescents reporting long-term mental health problems has increased tenfold since 1995.
Professor Miranda Wolpert, Co-director of the Evidence Based Practice Unit at the Anna Freud Centre said: “This site is a place where young people can get information and advice and can take part in shaping new interventions. In particular there is very little research evidence on what we are calling ‘self or community approaches’ to addressing mental health problems. As part of the launch of On My Mind we are inviting young people to let us know their views on which work for them and which we should prioritise for rigorous future research by answering our brief ‘Help us help others’ survey.
Research shows that 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14 and 75% by age 24 and that’s why it’s so important to provide extra help at this stage.
The new pages are targeted at children and young people between the ages of 11-25, but it is also a resource for GPs, teachers or parents who can signpost young people to the website.