Recent research shows that many young people feel there are as few as five places they can go for help. So the Scotland-based Young People's Research Group worked with the Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health to produce Talking2Ourselves, a website offering reassurance from peers and links to practical information from other young people. The new site was launched late last month.
Much is made of the fact that this is a website produced by young people for young people, and the homepage certainly has a fresh and youthful feel. A clear mission statement is well complemented by a main menu of subjects such as 'keeping well', 'bullying' and 'stigma', and sets of quick links to information on topics such as depression, eating disorders and self harm.
Inside, everything is enjoyably easy to follow. Each section comes with a useful introduction to explain the primary issues, tips on how to cope with them and more links to relevant organisations.
The site's creators say openly that it is not a resource to help children in crisis, but an information service. However, they want to improve their online presence and have included a 'comment' page on which visitors of any age can enter their own thoughts on the site's design or content.
Scottish Development Centre says:
"This is the first time there's been an online mental health resource developed in Scotland by young people for young people. We hope the information contained on the website will enable young people to find the support they want."
Site Visit is by Tony Hodson