A new mental health app for young people has been launched in Somerset. The free Tellmi app is now available for all local 11-18 year olds, and gives young people the tools to manage their own mental health and support others.
Commissioned by NHS Somerset, Tellmi is the only fully pre-moderated, dedicated, peer support app which is considered safe for children aged 11+. Posts are approved by human moderators within an average of 30 minutes, and in-house counsellors intervene to support when needed. Local young people who download the app will have 365-day access to support, where they can anonymously discuss their feelings in a safe environment.
Data is showing the app to be improving mental health outcomes for young people across the county already, with 83% of users reporting feeling less isolated, 45% who self-harm saying they had stopped or reduced self-harming, and 1 in 3 young people who felt suicidal experiencing fewer suicidal thoughts as a result of using the app.
Working with the Youth Parliament, Young Somerset, Somerset Council and CAMHS (Children & Adolescent Mental Health Services), the project aims to support young people on waiting lists, but also anyone who might benefit from further support.
So far, Tellmi has been promoted in eight schools and colleges across Somerset, but members of Somerset Youth Parliament are calling for more schools to sign up, as 75% of children and young people with mental health issues don’t get the treatment they need.
Joel Fowler, Member of Youth Parliament, is currently campaigning for improved mental health support across Somerset. He said: “The results for young people who are using Tellmi are impressive. The app is fresh, safe and informative. The impact of poor mental health can be horrific, so many young people struggle alone without support. Knowing people our age who have taken their life is something that we really must talk about. It would be amazing if all our secondary schools could help their students by promoting the Tellmi app.”
Dave Smith, Deputy Head of CAMHS and Interim Deputy Head of Paediatric Services, Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very pleased that Tellmi will be a new partner in the delivery of children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing services in Somerset. This new service will enhance the current service offer and be another safe place for young people to access much needed support, as well as share their own expertise by helping other young people experiencing similar mental health or emotional wellbeing experiences.”
Kerstyn Comley, Co-CEO at Tellmi, added: “At Tellmi, everything is backed up by research and safeguarding is a priority, which means our service works and is safe to be used by children as young as 11 years old.”
The app can be downloaded at Google Play or the App Store. To find out more about Tellmi, visit www.tellmi.help
• Please contact Billie Kerr at email@example.com for more information
• To learn more about Somerset Youth Parliament, contact Kate Darlington: firstname.lastname@example.org
• For more information on children’s mental health statistics, visit Children’s Mental Health Statistics | The Children’s Society (childrenssociety.org.uk)