A new website dedicated to mental health services for young people in Bolton was launched this week.
The microsite has been co-produced by NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Bolton’s Healthy Minds Youth Project, and aims to combat the stigma around mental health.
Healthy Minds Youth Project is an action group of young people aged 13-19 years delivered in partnership with Bolton Council and Bolton Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
In 2016, the young people identified a gap in early intervention services locally and wanted to gain an understanding of what support is available to them. This led to Bolton CCG agreeing to fund an anti-stigma project known as Be Kind to My Mind with the aim of creating an information hub for young people.
The site includes information on local mental health services, where to go if you need to access urgent help along with a poignant video of our young people talking about their personal experiences.
The young people talk about how they live with conditions like anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
As part of the website launch, a borough-wide campaign is under way, highlighting the resource to young people between the ages of 14-18 on social media platforms including, Facebook, Instragram, Youtube and Spotify.
The group has been fully involved in creating the campaign, even recording the audio clips for social media.
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness and ultimately reduce the stigma that is attached to young people with regards to their mental and emotional health
Dr Barry Silvert, Clinical Director for Commissioning at the CCG, said: “This campaign has been driven through the passion of young people in Bolton wanting to reduce the stigma around mental health.
“When engaging with young people and their families, a key message has been that often young people don’t know what support is available within Bolton around mental health and wellbeing so the bekindtomymind microsite aims to address this.”
One of the young people involved in the campaign, Katie, said: “Working with the CCG to help create the campaign be kind to my mind has given me the opportunity to make a difference.
"Voicing my story is the hardest thing I have ever done but it feels good that I can turn something so negative in my life into something that could help another young person.
"I am sure that there are many individuals out there who want to have a better life. My message to those struggling with their mental health is that things will get better, and it’s ok to talk.”