help save our young people's mental health

help save our young people's mental health

To raise money to research the critical mental health crisis in young people via an online Msc in wellbing

We did it!

On 18th Jul 2017 we successfully raised £40 with 3 supporters in 56 days

Hi, I'm an expereinced Psychology lecturer who like many staff in education are attempting to promote the outcomes for young people in terms of grades and progression onto further study. However, as a Psychologist and a mother I am becoming increasingly concerned about the mental health of those as young as my son (aged ten) and those I teach aged 16-18 and beyond. Something needs to be done to identify and alleviate the surge in clinical symptoms of depression, anxiety (and sadly suicide) commonly seen in what should be the most enviable age for us all. Sadly no more. I wish to study a Psychological well being masters (Msc) which explores all the threats to well being in the modern world (please see link)

With this masters i can easily conduct the research with ample participants available from my employment at the largest college in UK. The aim of this reseach is to explore and identify the reasons for the rise in clinical cases.  Leading on from that I will develop  a toolkit that can be used to assess fitness for study or work across Cornwall.  Workshops in resillience and confidence building can then be developed to promote well being and improve mental health in young people. This  may then remove the biggest obstacle to fulfill learning and life quests that offer fulfillment and encourage citizen. With a more resillience in our young people we can be more hopeful about their stronger sense of self worth whic is key to reaching their full potential and reduced clinical symptoms.

My overall concern is that if we don't invest in the well being and mental health of our young people now we will forfeit their chances of true personal success  as the pressures to perform, achieve and produce outcomes will never go away. 

Please read below for my rationale  for this research. i hope you find it as urgent as i do and if you're not in a position to donate i would be so grateful if you could share this with someone who could or alert any companies you feel may back my cause

thanks for reading


With 5 suicides at Bristol university alone last year (, 2017), it is clear the rise in reported mental health problems in young undergraduates has doubled in the past 5 years ( , 2015)

Cornwall has its own ”Together for Families” agenda to help build resilience in the 5 of Cornwall’s constituencies who require heavily funded intervention due to chronic deprivation  but this isn't working. As a Psychologist and experienced lecturer of young people for the past 9 years, I have an ongoing determination to promote well –being, self-efficacy  to help young people flourish.  Many of our learners in Cornwall having come from lower socio-economic backgrounds (with Cornwall boasting the worst 10% of neighbourhoods for deprivation in the Country (Incidences of multiple deprivation, 2015) , evidenced by as many as a third of working age adults on benefits in some towns in Cornwall (, 2017 a) and Cornwall being ranked 143/326 in local authorities for deprivation (, 2017 b) . The most recent report on demographics in Cornwall quoting  “There has been a significant deterioration in the health domain for the most deprived neighbourhoods, with the mood and anxiety disorders indicator being significantly worse than for other areas” (, 2017 b). With the data available, it is clear many of our learners need support and awareness to help grow their degree of confidence and self belief to achieve their full potential  The purpose of this research is to identify learning obstacles from online lifestyles and impacts on psychological well-being and resilience for current and future HE cohorts (with direct application across any CCG cohorts  via the pastoral system)

 There seems to be some overlap between onset of psychiatric cases and social media usage. The proportion of UK residents with at least one social media profile stands at 72%, decreasing exponentially by age – from 93% of 16-24s to 28% of 65+s. eight in ten (81%) of those with a social media profile say they visit social media sites or apps at least once a day, compared to 30% in 2005 .(Ofcomorguk, 2017)

Cases of depression and anxiety have risen by 70% in the past 25 years. Cases of critical psychiatric adolescent admissions to A & E having doubled since 2009 (, 2016). It is emerging that learning and indeed reaching their true potential is hindered by poor psychological health.

The ideas for this research are rooted in casual prior research I have conducted across learners and school pupils. This has informed me of the the most challenging obstacles for young people’s learning; confidence, mental health issues such as depression and anxiety and reliance on social media which in turn impacts on both of these issues. All students have been incredibly willing to explore this for themselves and their friends.  Results so far indicate a strong inverse relationship between social media usage and mental health indicators of self-esteem and confidence. Many were mildly aware they had addictive behaviours (with up to 8 hours usage per day!!), but for may they were unable to understand themselves holistically and understand that their reliance on social media may in fact be increasing anxiety, low confidence etc not helping them cope with it.

As the first wave of teenagers emerge who have never known a world without computers, internet and for many social media, they are an interesting focus for research. Indeed, many data trends are currently emerging which indicate some social media habits may by wreaking devastating outcomes for young people, hindering their personal growth, identity, levels of esteem and ability to learn. For example, on a large sample of York students a correlational analysis showed that those high in narcissism and low self-esteem were the highest investors in greater online activity (social media) (Mehdizadeh, 2010).  This area of research is currently experiencing a huge surge. Indeed a new syndrome is being identified named “facebook depression”  (O’keeffe, clarke-pearson, 2015) as professional bodies are starting to realise there are some significant correlations around the onset of adolescent psychiatric cases of clinical depression, anxiety, suicide and social media usage. Sleep deprivation from over investment in social media was recently reported to have a 65% impact on cognitive performance. (Panorama, 2017)

 With the data available, it is clear many young people need support and awareness to help grow their degree of confidence and self belief to achieve their full potential  The purpose of this research is to identify learning obstacles from online and offline lifestyles and impacts on psychological well-being and resilience for young people

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