During March and April this year over 1,700 students were invited to try Hidden Strength, a new government backed mental health app specifically designed for young people. The students aged 13 – 19 at Windsor Boys School and Windsor Girls School, trialed in–app content, wellbeing tools and 1:1 sessions with qualified therapists.
Feedback from students involved included:
- 86% said that speaking to a therapist made a positive difference to them
- 81% said they would recommend the app to a friend or family member
- 90% gave Hidden Strength’s therapists a positive rating
Creators of the app met with senior MPs and peers at a special event in the House of Commons to present their findings and to discuss solutions to the growing crisis in children’s mental health. The pilot’s results demonstrate how Hidden Strength’s platform innovations are relevant to, and potentially capable of, meeting many of the key objectives within the government’s Mental Health Strategy and the new Mental Health Bill.
Hidden Strength is a unique new digital platform for young people aged 13-24 that offers them free access to mental health support services including holistic wellbeing and one-on-one online therapy sessions with qualified professional therapists. Hidden Strength will be made available to children and young people nationwide at no cost to users on a 24/7 basis later this year.
Hidden Strength is supported by Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Shadow SNP spokesperson for mental health, who previously worked as a clinical psychologist before entering Parliament. The app’s advisory board features experts in child psychology and safeguarding, including Dr Dawn Harper and John Cameron (former Childline director and head of child protection operations at the NSPCC).
CEO and founder of Hidden Strength, Linsey Lunny, said: “The results of our pilot programme exceeded expectations with installs, registrations, and engagement considerably ahead of our healthcare professionals’ estimates.
“We also learned a huge amount about how to further refine the platform to meet user and therapist needs and preferences. I am very grateful to our therapists and of course the teachers and students from both schools for their participation in the pilot. After eighteen months of development, it’s wonderful to think that we are well on the way to being able to deliver a meaningful difference in the lives of children and young people.”
Dr Lisa Cameron MP, Shadow SNP spokesperson for mental health, said: “We are facing a UK-wide crisis in children’s mental health, with growing numbers of young people suffering with mental health issues. The scale of the problem has only been exacerbated by the pandemic. We are now in a position where young people are coming forward with their concerns but finding an NHS which is severely overstretched and underfunded.
“We are in desperate need of innovative solutions, like the Hidden Strength app, which can tackle the problem head on. Improving lives for children and young people struggling with their mental health should be a top priority for MPs and industry leaders in health and social care.”