CELEBRITIES Joss Stone and Joe Swash are lending their support to a new NHS initiative, called WellHappy.
It aims to communicate with young people in the capital with mental health issues and allow them to quickly and easily access support networks which exist.
It has been developed by the NHS in conjunction with the charity Young Minds and social enterprise initiative Living Well.
WellHappy is for people aged 12-25 who are concerned about mental and sexual health, drugs, alcohol and smoking. The app features a ‘Crisis’ link, which offers youngsters immediate access to helplines from their phone or tablet.
Singer Joss Stone said: ‘I'm Well Happy to see that the NHS are thinking about the health issues that are effecting the youth. The problems affecting young people aren't always the easiest to talk about – sex, drugs and rock and roll might be good for a song but not always an easy conversation. The fact that this app puts people in the direction not only of doctors but counselling and arts based charities is a great way to go about it.
"We are so lucky in the UK that health services are available to everyone, not just those that can afford it. This type of initiative makes me really proud of our NHS!"
The service was developed with the help of Katherine Cormack, a young woman with personal experience of mental health problems from a young age, who was seconded to work with the NHS from the London-based charity Young Minds.
Her personal knowledge and input to the project has helped the WellHappy app and site, which is part of the
myhealthlondon website, to establish a true culture shift in the way that the NHS communicates with younger members of the public. Bringing together NHS, charity, voluntary and arts-based services, the aim is to deliver all kinds of help available directly into the hands of every young Londoner.
I’m a Celebrity and EastEnders’ star Joe Swash has also highlighted the importance of using WellHappy in a personal message to young Londoners:
‘Everyone needs a bit of support or advice now and then – and finding that support has just got a whole lot easier. Download the brilliant new app ‘WellHappy’, and visit the WellHappy community page at myhealthlondon. It will tell you all about your local support services – and give you more information on all sorts, from relationship problems to drugs and alcohol issues. It’s free – so download it now from myhealthlondon, Apple App store or Google Play."
The WellHappy app and site launches on Wednesday March 13. Download it from the Apple Store and Google Play, or on the website: myhealth.London.nhs.uk