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Funding to support innovative mental health project for young people

Published: 10 November 2020

A new project aiming to improve the mental health and wellbeing of young people across Derbyshire is getting off the ground thanks to our funding.


We are providing £20,000 to local mental health organisation Men Talk to deliver a digital-based emotional health project aimed at 16 to 19 year-olds.

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Communities, Councillor Carol Hart said:

“Mental health and emotional wellbeing remains a key public health priority.

“Covid 19 has seen an increasing number of people experiencing emotional wellbeing issues and, with the ongoing instability and uncertainty, emotional heath support is even more important.”

Young people are a group identified as being at higher risk of mental ill health and it’s recognised that helping them develop emotional resilience, and offering early support, can prevent problems from escalating.

Local charity Men Talk have developed an innovative idea for the supply of a digital wrist band to young people.

The wrist band allows the user to store personalised self-help tools to help with their emotional wellbeing.

It can contain direct contact information to local services, including school nurses and can also hold online tools such as a safety plan or positive messages.

Other personalised features could include a music playlist or personalised notes to help in times of anxiety or stress.

Jason Cotton, founder of Men Talk, said:

“Safeguarding the future lies in the wellbeing of our young adults and as we enter a new age of digital distancing.

“We must provide the right tools to help them seek knowledge and find guidance, to raise self-awareness and empower their sense of self-care and support seeking.

“With innovation, we can help the younger generation reconnect through smarter ways of accessing services, bridging the anxiety gap - safeguarding through discretion.

“The team are all incredibly excited and cannot wait to support these amazing young people once again.”

It is proposed that during the one-year project Men Talk will develop the product.

They will then roll out a programme of emotional health and wellbeing talks alongside supplying the digital bands to young people.

This will be delivered at a minimum of 4 secondary schools or further education establishments in Derbyshire.

The target age will be 16 to 19, which includes young people entering GCSE examinations, those doing A levels or further education.

Read more about mental and emotional health.