Young people, families and carers shape local mental health support website

Healthy Young Minds logo

The Lancashire and South Cumbria Healthy Young Minds website (www.healthyyoungmindslsc.co.uk) contains a wealth of information and resources to boost and support the resilience, emotional wellbeing and mental health of local children and young people. It has been developed with children and young people, their families, and professionals to make it as easy as possible for them to access advice, help and support quickly, whenever they need it.

The site is for young people and anyone who comes into contact with them – so can include scout leaders, community support officers, librarians, teachers, and sports coaches. It features information on a range of topics and in a range of formats, from self-help suggestions, videos, apps, links to other sites and organisations such as Young Minds, The Mix, Papyrus and Togetherall.

Shamaila Iqbal, CAMHS Primary Mental Health Worker and Registered Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner for Greater Preston, said: “We are very aware that the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting everyone’s mental health, and young people may find it especially hard to process and talk about how they are feeling. As Time to Talk Day falls this week (Thursday 4 February), there’s no better time to have a small conversation about mental health – which could make a big difference. The Healthy Young Minds website has lots of information to help you start those conversations.

“The information on the website is arranged into three sections – for children and young people, families and carers and professionals. Those different audiences have told us what they want to see on there and how they want it presented.”

Peter Tinson, Executive Lead for Out of Hospital Services at Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, said: “From the beginning of this project we knew it was important to be directed by those who will use the website, we’ve worked with young people and their families and carers to co-produce the design and user journey. We attended virtual focus groups, local participation groups and ran an online survey.

“Some young people we talked to have volunteered to be our ‘digital champions’, working with us to suggest content and provide continuous feedback. We hope many of them will continue to share their ideas to keep the website relevant and test out our future developments.”