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Support for young mental health

Facebook hosts a hack to help encourage young people to seek help when they need it most

Young people join forces with Facebook, creative agencies and Young Minds to change the conversation around young people’s mental health
Young people join forces with Facebook, creative agencies and Young Minds to change the conversation around young people’s mental health

Part of Facebook’s mission is to bring the world closer together, and one of the ways this happens is around common causes in our community," said Facebook’s EMEA director of creative shop, Caitlin Ryan, at its latest Hack for Good event.

Hack for Good gathers creatives to answer a brief and think up digital ideas in a limited time period, for a good cause. The latest hack had top creative agencies, including AMV BBDO and Ogilvy, pitch an advertising campaign to help youth mental health charity Young Minds connect with young people in the UK, at scale.

With highly publicised events like #HeadsTogether, the UK is increasing its awareness of mental health. But there’s still some way to go to ensuring young people get the support and resources they need. Facebook specifically selected Young Minds as the partner for the Hack for Good, as a charity focused on offering real and relevant information, support and advice for this audience. The charity wants to grow its community to drive new behaviours around mental health. "Technology can empower young people to put their hands up and ask for help when they are feeling challenged. As a mother, supporting mental health in young people is something I’m passionate about," said Ryan.

Young Minds wanted to reach young adults aged between 16-25 and focus on one mental health issue that’s not often talked about – anger – to improve the emotional literacy of young people around it and inspire them to seek support from the Young Minds community.

The event invited young activists from Young Minds to talk about their personal experiences: "As a teenage lad you disappear under the radar because teens are rowdy and, in my own head, I thought that was just how it is. I spent a lot of time trying to work out what was wrong. Today, I’m still trying to work out why I get angry at certain things and learning to manage my triggers," said one speaker.

The agencies also benefited from guidance from Facebook and Instagram on how to use the platforms most effectively, to drive impact for the charity. Two weeks later, five creative agencies – Ogilvy, Leo Burnett, AMV BBDO, Grey, and Publicis London – presented to an industry panel and the Young Minds activists. Each agency had 10 minutes to pitch their idea.

Publicis London’s idea focused on "listening to your anger" using a combination of Instagram Stories and influencers to convey the message – it resonated the most to win. Ryan said: "It’s a really big activation idea. We’re excited about how effectively we can put the tools in people’s hands to drive awareness."

The winning campaign will run in January, with results in Campaign in March 2019.

Why young minds matters

Young Minds is the UK’s leading charity fighting for young people’s mental health. It helps parents and professionals access the resource they need, influences government policy and creates campaigns to empower and advise.

The problem
• One in 10 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health disorder. That’s three children in every classroom.
• In the past 10 years, the number of young people admitted to hospital due to self-harm increased by 68%.
• Suicide is the most common cause of death in boys between the ages of five and 19.

The progress
• 88% of young people are more likely to talk about mental health than they used to be.
• 84% agree that media coverage about mental health has increased.
• 79% agree there is now less stigma surrounding mental health than previously. 
• 94% agree mental health is just as important as physical health.