Open call for digital mental health solutions for young people


An Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) along with mental health charities has issued an open call for digital or technology-based mental health solutions for young people.

The West of England AHSN, Creative England and The Wellcome Trust have launched Create Open Health, an initiative offering successful applicants access to technical, marketing and sales expertise to help plan and develop their solution.

Applicants will also get the opportunity to meet potential investors to help their solution be viably implemented in the NHS.

Create Open Health is looking for submissions that leverage digital or technology solutions which improve young people’s experience of mental health care, with the aim to help parents, schools and communities identify early signs of mental health issues.

Ideas should support social inclusion, empower young people to take control of their mental wellbeing, address the stigma associated with mental health conditions, and improve access to quality care and information.

Tim Evans, investment manager at charity Creative England, said: “As many in the industry know, 1 in 10 children between 5-16 years old have a diagnosable mental health problem and yet just 0.7% of the NHS budget is spent on children’s mental health.

“With this programme, we hope to tap into the vast wealth of knowledge and experience of our healthcare industry and help develop solutions that can have a real impact on the mental wellbeing of children and young people in the UK.

“These ideas and solutions can be conceptual, or they can already be in place and in need of support to develop them further. Above all, applicants should be passionate about bringing their ideas to life and, by doing so, want to make a genuine social impact.”

Lars Sundstrom, director of innovation and growth at The West of England AHSN, added: “We are passionate about making innovation relevant to everyone and working with end users in the co-production of new products and services.

“By bringing them together in one initiative, we will be able to build on our experience and that of our partners in a common objective to share knowledge and pool expertise.”

Applications can be made by individuals or on behalf of a team, organisation or charity and there is no requirement for those applying to be currently working full time in their area.

Those interested have until midnight on 31 March to apply and will need to be able to attend a business development bootcamp in Bristol on 26 and 27 April.

To apply visit creativeengland.co.uk.

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