We’re in danger of losing an entire generation in an unprecedented mental health crisis.
Over 1.5 million new mental health referrals of young people are expected in the next 3 years - children and young people who are self-harming, suffering eating disorders, substance abuse and depression. The Children's Society recently reported over 400,000 more children needing treatment over just a few months. Almost 375,000 under -18s are on the NHS waiting list for mental health treatment. Suicide is now the biggest cause of premature death among younger people. On average, a child of school age takes their own life every day during term time. 7% of our young people have attempted suicide by age 17, while 75% of all mental health diagnoses are made by age 18. Our young people are in a mental health meltdown.
The statistics are devastating. The trauma, pain and damage to families, friends, education and society is incalculable.
Growing up has never been easy. But this generation has also grown up with the impact of toxic social media content and cyber-bullying, endured 2 formative years of their young life under pandemic restrictions and now faces relentless, 24/7 exposure to news and images of death, war, and destruction. Many have little or no emotional scaffolding around them. Their well-being and resilience are dangerously undermined and eroded by uncertainty, fear, pain and despair.
This desperate need - and our determination to do something about it - is the driving force behind Mpathy , a new not-for profit project. We're on a mission - to reach out to young people in ways they'll accept and understand. We can do that best through interactive applications, offering age-appropriate support & guidance, hope and positive lifestyle prompts. We aim to divert vulnerable young minds away from toxic influences and nudge them towards positive mental health and emotional resilience. Crucially, unlike most other apps out there – Mpathy will offer help well before a crisis point is reached.
We’ve spent hundreds of hours talking to professional psychologists, social care experts, nutritionists, parents of young people with serious problems and very importantly, an informal focus group of young people.
The result is Mpathy Youth
A totally free, interactive app, it’s designed primarily for 8 to 15 year olds – experts agree that early intervention is critical to building happier and healthier futures for our young people.
Mpathy Youth will be freely available on all platforms, without registration. It will be a safe zone, free from advertising. No personal data will be stored or shared. It is private, confidential and offers no connectivity – this is not another social media app. Its only job is to help the user find and value themselves and the world around them.
How will Mpathy Youth help?
The basic principle of the app is to provide a safe space, within which the users will be offered, engaged and prompted with positive thoughts and actions. We will use animation, video and music audio, along with very short text prompts. The menu page in the screenshot above gives an idea of the subject areas on offer to the user. All content areas are designed to build self-value and encourage 'off-line' engagement with the natural world, family, friends and the community, though a variety of activities.
There will also be a confidential 'diary' area, password or fingerprint protected, where the children and young users can express their feelings in total privacy. The diary will include the ability to track emotional progression over time, using a simple 'traffic light' approach.
Mpathy is intended as prevention, not cure. For those in or approaching a crisis point, we are fully aware of the importance of expert medical intervention. The app will provide a 'Help' page, giving easy access to the key support services they may need.
Join our mission
A lot of preparatory work has been done. Now we need your help and we invite you to join our mission. The structure and the look and feel of the app are planned and tested. Excellent design work has brought it to life. We’re ready to go to the final production stages, adding the animation, video and audio content that will help young people connect and find a healthier path in life. To do that, professionally and to appropriately high standards, we need substantial funds.
Please, donate if you can, whatever you can. Every cent will be used to get more help to more young people more quickly.
And please share! Together, we can start an Emotional Revolution. It’s desperately needed. Thank you for your support.
We are a group of concerned parents and professionals working in social care, mental health and trauma who came together during 2021 because we were deeply saddened and shocked by the many personal tragedies we heard of among families we know and people with whom we work. We are all committed to doing our best to make a difference, no matter however small, to the tsunami of trauma we are facing. If even one young life can be saved, we will feel that everything has been justified.
Kelvin Heard. Highly-experienced emotional health therapist with special expertise in childhood trauma. Director
Brenda Clause. Professional Family Support Worker. Pioneering research expert on the role of nutrition in mental health. Non-Executive Director
David Dowse. Communications expert, storyteller, specialist in conflict resolution and problem-solving, project manager. Director
Helen Ferguson. Specialist C-PTSD Trauma Therapist for Women & Children. Non-Executive Director
David Beckett. Psychologist and psychotherapist. Creator of innovative learning and development solutions. Non-Executive Director
Dr Jelena Nolan-Roll. Psychologist with a PhD in education, creative writer and violence prevention expert. Non-Executive Director