Mental Health in Children Challenge

2 April 2019

Mental health problems often start from a young age: 1 in 10 children aged 5-16 years old have a clinically diagnosable problem that could include conduct disorders; emotional issues such as anxiety and depression; autism spectrum disorders and others (Green et al., 2004). Timely and appropriate interventions are essential for ensuring the best possible outcomes, including the formation of a healthy adult life. Young people who do not receive help will often carry their symptoms for many years, severely affecting their wellbeing and ability to work and support themselves as adults (Goodman et al, 2011). However, with the NHS and relevant charities under strain, there is a lack of services and appropriate support for children and families; creating a need for proven and easily accessible solutions around the country. 

AXA were looking for a broad range of solutions that can support children and/or their parents in understanding and managing mental health. The solution can focus on any mental health problem and part of the journey from pre-diagnosis to treatment but must be able to offer solid scientific evidence of efficacy.

Full references: Green H. Et al, ‘Mental Health of Children and Young People in Great Britain: 2004’, Office for National Statistics (2005); Goodman A et al, ‘The long shadow cast by childhood physical and mental health problems on adult life’. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Link (2011) [accessed 2 October 2018]

Clear Fear - Clear Fear is a free app that provides a range of ways to help children and young people manage anxiety. Developed by a clinician, together with ideas from young people, Clear Fear uses a Cognitive Behavioural framework to help change anxious thoughts and emotions, alter anxious behaviours and calm fear responses.

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Project Kitchen Table - We’re on a mission to create a generation of self confident, socially infectious individuals who we call chatterpots. Why? Because self confident people are more resilient to the ways and wherefores of everyday life and a world full of chatterpots has fewer lonely or anxious individuals living in it.

And who’s first?
We’re developing products and services with and for the families transitioning to ‘Big school’. The generation with so much choice and opportunity that it can be bewildering to work out who you really are and how you bring the real you to life, confidently.

10-12yr olds are our priority. With their own phones, keys, social media accounts and fledgling relationships, we want to help them feel comfortable in their own skins whilst keeping them socially active.

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Xploro® -  is a mobile application that uses 3D augmented reality interactive models, an artificially intelligent Avatar Guide and a series of games to introduce young patients to hospital environments, staff and process. By putting health information in the hands of children, using language they understand and interaction paradigms that they are familiar with, we aim to reduce their stress and anxiety and improve their clinical outcomes. By reducing the fear associated with procedures we aim to reduce repeat procedures and shorten treatment times. Finally, by improving child health literacy we provide the foundations for a generation of patients better able to self-manage their healthcare. We’re starting with children with cancer, but we’re aiming to build a health information platform for any patient, of any age, with any condition, anywhere in the world.

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