For anyone who has been inspired by Global Entrepreneurship Week events, here is a blog post from one of our current student-led social enterprises, thanks to Dr Mallika Punukollu and Dr Fiona Mitchell for the contribution.
“SafeSpot are a social enterprise whose vision is to equip every child in Scotland with resilience and coping skills to manage at times of distress. As a result we aim to improve the overall functioning of the child and empower them to fulfil their full potential.
Many children today will experience challenges and stressors. Within Scotland around 1 in 10 children aged 5-16 have mental health difficulties, and many of these young people are not able to access psychiatric services so suffer in silence or are seen by other clinicians or charity based services.
SafeSpot Mobile app
The mobile phone app will benefit children across Scotland, by helping them to learn how to cope and develop management strategies for times of difficulties. It will improve familial relationships, and empower the child to live a much-improved quality of life. Family life is vitally important to the development of young people, and this app will benefit not only the child’s functioning, but also their ability to function within the family unit.
As two child and adolescent psychiatrists working within the NHS, we have over 23 years’ experience in both physical and psychiatric health. We are both based in Glasgow, and have experience in working across the UK.
How it works
Our services include a mobile app and website alongside a mental health education programme in schools. The SafeSpot mobile enables children, in a moment of stress, to have quick access to a wealth of information, techniques and external help if required, including
- Personalised coping strategies (e.g. photos, videos, music) to feel better at times of stress.
- Easy access to emergency contacts i.e. samaritans, breathing space, childline and NHS24.
- Directory of services for all types of mental health and social problems (OCD, anxiety, depression, gender identity disorder, domestic violence and many more).
- Recorded psychological techniques to listen to (e.g. mindfulness).
- GPS map: showing the child’s location on a map and all nearby resources e.g. hospitals, drop in clinics, late opening pharmacies and much more.
Alongside the mobile phone app we have launched the SafeSpot website which will have all the same functions as the mobile phone app, along with games and a ‘Safespotepedia’ where families can access different mental health information.
The Safe-Spotter Programme will work alongside the use of the mobile app within education. Selected final year students will be allocated as Safe-Spotters. They will be provided with a training day focusing on mental health awareness. They will then act as a befriender/first point of contact for individuals within the school alongside the school guidance staff.
Current stage of development
SafeSpot was released March 2015 in Apple and Google Play stores. A regional version of SafeSpot was purchased by NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde. The education curriculum and Safespotter programme launched in September 2015 at St Stephen’s High School in Inverclyde.”
SafeSpot were runners up in the Converge Challenge kickstart competition in 2014. This competition opens again, for researchers across Scotland, in January 2015. If you’re thinking about applying, get in touch with Elizabeth Adams.