New Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group portal provides pilot mental health support for young people

Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has partnered with MeeTwo to provide specialist support to young people in areas of Somerset by creating a unique portal which sits inside the MeeTwo app.

MeeTwo is a multi-award winning, fully moderated, mental help app for young people aged 11-25. The peer support model enables young people to talk about difficult things, and to help themselves by helping each other. Reciprocity allows young people to transform their own difficult life experiences into useful advice for others.

Although the app is for 11-25 year olds, this pilot scheme supported by Somerset’s Public Health Team, Education Inclusion, Young Somerset and Child and Adolescent Health Services (CAMHS), will be available for children and young people aged 11-18 with the following postcodes:

  • BA20 – BA22
  • BA6
  • TA1 – TA3
  • TA10
  • TA18

The portal will enable young people to connect directly to the support services offered by Somerset CCG including Young SomersetKOOTH2BUMindlineChatHealth and LifeBeat.

Six Somerset schools have created their own bespoke information portals for their students aged 11-18, including a directory of services whom provide low level mental health and emotional wellbeing support for difficulties such as anxiety or low mood.

The six schools included in the pilot are as follows:

  • Stanchester School in Stoke-sub-Hamdon
  • Huish Episcopi in Langport
  • The TOR School PRU in Glastonbury
  • Taunton Deane PRU in Taunton
  • Somerset Partnership School PRU in Yeovil
  • Wadham School in Crewkerne

A full evaluation will be undertaken at the end of December 2020, with the aim to expand the age range as well as more postcodes in Somerset, and roll out bespoke portals to all schools in Somerset.

One of the best ways for a young person to improve their wellbeing is to share how they are feeling. The multi-award winning MeeTwo app makes it easy to talk about difficult things, and to get support.

Dr Theresa Foxton, GP clinical lead for children’s and young adult’s mental health at Somerset CCG said

“There is growing evidence of the benefits of the use of trained Peer Support Workers in the field of mental health. There is a different relationship between professional and patient, where the professional is the ‘expert’ and prescribes what is good for “the patient” compared to peer support. The support worker is able to provide help and support from a position of lived experience and can genuinely say ‘I know how you feel’.

It benefits both the peer support giver and the recipient. Recipients often report a greater feeling of empathy and respect whereas peer support workers often gain increasing levels of self-esteem, confidence and positive feelings that they are doing good. Peer-support workers also often experience an increase in their own ability to cope with mental health problems.

Peer support can be helpful on its own, or it can be something to try alongside treatments like talking therapies or medication. It can also be a helpful way of getting support if you are on a waiting list for one of these treatments.”

MeeTwo is featured on the NHS Apps Library and currently supports over 36,000 young people from across the UK. It can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.

The app is safe because all posts and replies are checked by human moderators before they go live, and in-house counsellors provide extra support if it is needed.

“I actually didn’t realise how much better this app can make someone feel. I love being able to ask my own questions and just the experience of trying to help even one other person helps me to feel happier too” MeeTwo User

MeeTwo have also launched a new directory in the app, which gives young people the tools to help themselves, and each other.The directory provides access to 24/7 crisis support and specialist services including Crisis. The directory also includes a selection of books, videos,apps and Ted Talks, as well as personal stories about the issues that affect young people.

Peer support has been shown to improve quality of life, wellbeing, social networks, self-esteem and social functioning, alongside reductions in hospital admission rates and use of hospital emergency services.

Support from Young Somerset, KOOTH, 2BU, Mindline, ChatHealth and LifeBeat, can also be accessed via their websites for children and young people not based in the pilot postcodes.

Originally posted on 2 September 2020, updated on 11 November 2020.

Mental health options available for young people in Somerset:

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