Grant for youth mental health project

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A successful youth mental health project has been awarded a major EU grant.

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 today 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.”