New campaign encourages young people to speak about mental health worries

Young people in Lancashire and South Cumbria are being urged to speak out and seek help if they are worried about their mental health.

NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB), which organises health services for the region, has launched a new campaign aimed specifically at 11 to 18-year-olds.

The campaign, which will mainly been seen on Snapchat, TikTok and Instagram, encourages young people who may be feeling anxious about school or exams, finding it hard to fit in, or having negative thoughts about how they look, to find help and support on the Healthy Young Minds website.

This website was developed as part of a redesign of children’s mental health services – creating a one-stop shop for emotional and mental wellbeing support resources. It was co-produced by children and young people, parents and carers, and health and care organisations across Lancashire and South Cumbria.

The campaign concept – which shows teenagers feeling alone and consumed by their own thoughts, before realising it’s good to talk – has been brought to life by young people from the Blackburn Youth Zone.

The campaign also encourages parents and carers to talk more to their children about mental health concerns.

Clinical network manager Helen Parry, one of the ICB’s suicide prevention leads, said: “We’ve been developing this campaign for several months now. We started this work back in October when we held workshops with four local secondary schools and Rock FM. Those workshops helped us to understand the sorts of issues young people were facing and how we could best reach them with a campaign like this.

“Since then, we’ve been developing the campaign, which is focused on several short videos that we hope will resonate with young people. It’s about encouraging them to recognise when they might be struggling and to open up about their worries.

“We’d like to say a huge thank you to the young people from the Blackburn Youth Zone who gave up their time to bring our campaign to life.”

In 2022, 18 per cent of children in England aged seven to 16 years old and 22 per cent of young people aged 17 to 24 had a probable mental disorder.

Only 61 per cent of 11 to 16-year-olds with a probable mental disorder said they felt safe at school – compared to 89 per cent of those unlikely to have a probable mental disorder. They were also less likely to report enjoyment of learning or having a friend they could turn to for support.

Helen Rimmer, the ICB’s children and young people’s mental health lead, added: “Supporting young people to better look after their mental health and wellbeing is a priority for us. We know our young people are facing pressures at home, at school, and online, which can negatively affect their mental health, but we want them to know help is out there.

“There’s a whole range of resources on the Healthy Young Minds website and we’d really encourage young people, and parents and carers, to take a look at the support which is available to them.”

Find out more about the campaign by visiting

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