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A game-changing approach to supporting young people with depression

Have you ever wondered how poor mental health might start? Or what might be the best way to prevent depression or help those experiencing it? We do, because more young people than ever are suffering from depression, which can continue to affect their wellbeing into adulthood.  Current treatments in under-18s are effective in 60% of cases. Between 50 and 75% of young people experience a relapse, even after successful treatment.

Our previous project, “Changing hearts, Changing minds”, generated 200 evidence-based ideas for prevention and early interventions to address depression in young people. These ideas are based on a ‘joined-up’ understanding of how, throughout our lives, a person’s experiences, nutrition, exercise and other factors affect both their body’s biological systems and psychological factors that can lead to depression.

Supported by the Aviva Foundation, we are continuing this vital work, exploring which of these preventative and early interventions are most likely to be both impactful and feasible in the real world. The project is engaging individuals, the healthcare system and innovators, as well as educators, employers and charities to help understand how these opportunities can make a difference.

We are inviting young people up to the age of 25, parents, carers, researchers, healthcare managers and professionals, innovators, schools, universities, and charities to take part in our consultation project to help turn research into reality.  Together we will explore, assess and prioritise these opportunities to make a difference. The consultations, from May 17th to July 21st, will focus on key areas including:

  1. Early life.
  2. Food and nutrition.
  3. Diagnostics, and individual and community screening.
  4. Exercise.
  5. Education & training & support.
  6. Psychological assessment and interventions.

In September and October, we will hold workshops to co-develop roadmaps to chart paths to better care and services for young people from birth to adulthood, and collaborations to take forward the most promising opportunities.

Consultations on Early Life, and Food & Nutrition will be held at 14:00-15:30 on May 17th & 19th respectively. You can sign up for more information and to be part of the Game Changing Approach consultations here, or keep in touch with our progress via our webpage, on Twitter @foundation_YPMH or Facebook

The project is being conducted by the Centre for Technology Management, part of the IfM at the University of Cambridge, IfM Engage and the Foundation for Young People’s Mental Health.

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