Digital Charity YouthNet offering free mobile app to help young people cope with exam stress

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Young people feeling the pressure as exam time peaks can download Stressheads – a clever new mobile app to help them cope with stress – launched by digital charity, YouthNet.

Of course, it’s not just exam time when young people can feel overwhelmed. Stress is a consistent factor in young people’s lives. It was recently reported that more than one in ten of young people in the UK often feel too anxious to leave the house, while more than a third often feel anxious about everyday situations*.

Stressheads, which is free to download, has been designed as a fun-to-use distraction tool for 16-25 year olds to turn to when they are feeling under pressure. What’s unique about the app is that it lets young people personify their stress, helping them to better understand how they can deal with it.

Stressheads has been co-created by a group of young volunteers, YouthNet and Neon Tribe, supported by Capital One.

The idea for Stressheads was hatched after YouthNet’s research with young people revealed that they often turn to their mobile phones when feeling stressed. Playing games, curating favourite pictures and music and checking social media updates were all behaviours that could distract them from stressful situations.

In fact, many of the young people we interviewed said they had actually destroyed their phones while under stress, so they loved the idea of something that could help them cope without shattering their prized possession into a million pieces.

Stressheads has been developed to provide:                                        

Distraction – Stressheads gives you something else to take your stress out on – without the danger of taking it out on your phone or those around you.

Stress management – helping you to take control of the situation and get the better of the stresses in your life – before they can grow into something worse.

Understanding – one of the best ways to deal with stress, is to understand what causes it.  Stressheads helps you explore both the causes and symptoms of stress.

Stress-perts in your hand – Stressheads is part of TheSite.org – the UK’s trusted information and support site for young people and experts on all things stressful, run by YouthNet.

How Stressheads works: once you’ve downloaded Stressheads free for iPhone, iPads and Android devices, you’ll be ready to turn your screen into a stress-relief tool.

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/stressheads/id981856668?mt=8

Google: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.youthnet.stressheads

  • Tap your screen to lay a stress-egg
  • These eggs need to be hatched, so bash away at them to spawn a Stresshead
  • Take your frustrations out on your Stresshead by roughing them up, flicking and tossing them about the screen.
  • Keep bashing at them to get useful tips on how to deal with stress
  • Help manage your stress by noting your feelings down in the personal stress journal
  • Customise and create your own Stresshead by changing how they look and the type of stress you’re tackling
  • When you’re ready, throw your Stresshead at the wall of spikes to destroy it.

YouthNet Chief Executive, Chris Martin, says: “Exam time is extraordinarily stressful for many thousands of young people. Our aim was to create a fun-to-use app to help young people to cope when they’re feeling under pressure. Already more than a 1,000 people have downloaded it and we hope that many more will benefit from using it over the coming weeks.

“We’re very grateful to the young volunteers who collaborated with YouthNet to create Stressheads, to Neon Tribe for their enthusiasm and creativity and to Capital One for supporting the project.”

For more information and advice on how to cope with exam stress visit TheSite.org

 

YouthNet media contact: kate.sidwell@youthnet.org or call: 07910 154 673

 Note to editors:

*Source: Princes Trust Youth Index 2015

*Source: Supporting young people through mobile technology, YouthNet and Nominet Trust, 2012. http://mobilesupport.youthnet.org/insight/

 YouthNet is the charity behind online guide to life, TheSite which supports around 1 million 16 to 25 year olds in the UK each year.

The UK’s first exclusively online charity, YouthNet creates digital solutions to ease young people’s isolation and to make their lives better.

YouthNet launches free mobile app to help young people cope with stress

YouthNet launches free mobile app to help young people cope with stress

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Stressheads – a clever new mobile app to help 16-25 year olds to cope with stress – is being launched today by digital charity, YouthNet.

Stress is a consistent factor in young people’s lives. It was recently reported that more than one in ten of young people in the UK often feel too anxious to leave the house, while more than a third often feel anxious about everyday situations*.

Stressheads, which is free to download, has been designed as a fun-to-use distraction tool for young people to turn to when they are feeling under pressure. What’s unique about Stressheads is that it lets young people personify their stress, helping them to better understand how they can deal with it.

Stressheads was co-created by a group of young volunteers, YouthNet and Neon Tribe, supported by Capital One.

The idea for Stressheads was hatched after our own research with young people revealed that they often turn to their mobile phones when feeling stressed. Playing games, curating favourite pictures and music and checking social media updates were all behaviours that could distract them from stressful situations.
In fact, many of the young people we interviewed said they had actually destroyed their phones while under stress, so they loved the idea of something that could help them cope without shattering their prized possession into a million pieces.

Stressheads has been developed to provide:                                        

  • Distraction – Stressheads gives you something else to take your stress out on – without the danger of taking it out on your phone or those around you.
  • Stress management – helping you to take control of the situation and get the better of the stresses in your life – before they can grow into something worse.
  • Understanding – one of the best ways to deal with stress, is to understand what causes it.  Stressheads helps you explore both the causes and symptoms of stress.
  • Stress-perts in your hand – Stressheads is part of TheSite.org – the UK’s trusted information and support site for young people and experts on all things stressful, run by YouthNet.

How Stressheads works: once you’ve downloaded Stressheads free for iPhone, iPads and Android devices, you’ll be ready to turn your screen into a stress-relief tool. Available here:

Tap your screen to lay a stress-egg

  • These eggs need to be hatched, so bash away at them to spawn a Stresshead
  • Take your frustrations out on your Stresshead by roughing them up, flicking and tossing them about the screen.
  • Keep bashing at them to get useful tips on how to deal with stress
  • Help manage your stress by noting your feelings down in the personal stress journal
  • Customise and create your own Stresshead by changing how they look and the type of stress you’re tackling
  • When you’re ready, throw your Stresshead at the wall of spikes to destroy it.

YouthNet Director of Operations, Chris Martin, who led the project, says: “We know that for many young people, stress is a consistent factor in their lives. Our aim was to create a fun-to-use app to help young people to cope when they’re feeling under pressure. We wanted to launch Stressheads in time for the exam period which we know is an extraordinarily stressful time for many thousands of young people.

“We’re very grateful to the young volunteers who collaborated with YouthNet to create Stressheads, to Neon Tribe for their enthusiasm and creativity and to Capital One for supporting the project.”

YouthNet appoints new Chief Executive Officer

YouthNet appoints new Chief Executive Officer

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YouthNet has today announced the appointment of a new Chief Executive Officer.

Chris Martin, formerly YouthNet’s Director of Operations, will take over from Emma Thomas, who has been at the charity’s helm for four years. In his new role, Chris will have combined responsibility for the Charity’s leadership as well as for digital delivery.

New Chief Executive, Chris Martin, said: “I am delighted to take over the reins of YouthNet as we continue to grow as a digitally agile organisation. The challenges facing young people in the UK have never been tougher and the need for our service is greater than ever. The YouthNet team, working alongside our incredible volunteers, is uniquely positioned to provide invaluable support to young people across the digital platforms that are integral to their lives.

“I look forward to continuing to work with staff, trustees and supporters to grow the reach and impact of our services by empowering even more young people to support their peers and make informed choices about their lives.”

Luke Taylor, Chair of Trustees at YouthNet and Global CEO of Digitas LBi, said: “Chris will succeed Emma whose amazing work over the last four years has established YouthNet as a respected champion of digital as a force for good.

“I am confident that under the guidance of Chris in his new role of Chief Executive, YouthNet will continue to evolve and innovate, so that we can ensure more young people access crucial support wherever and wherever they need it.”

Emma Thomas will be stepping down as CEO at the end of April to fulfil a personal ambition to travel and volunteer overseas. She will also be working on a number of sector projects focussed around her passion for the role of digital to support young people. Emma said: “It’s been a real privilege to lead YouthNet and to work alongside the dedicated team, our incredible volunteers and our many partners, to deliver vital support for young people through the power of digital.”

———————————————————

Media contact: Zoe Bailie

zoe.bailie@youthnet.org or 020 7250 5720/07766 660755

Notes to editor:
YouthNet is the charity behind online guide to life, TheSite, which supports over 1 million 16 to 25 year olds in the UK each year.

The UK’s first exclusively online charity, YouthNet creates digital solutions to ease young people’s isolation and to make their lives better.

YouthNet has developed a range of complementary digital services to support young people:

TheSite – the guide to life for 16 to 25 year-olds, with 2,000 articles/videos/blogs about job seeking, housing, sexual health,
mental wellbeing, drugs and more

StepFinder – Local help, easily found. An app that pin-points the nearest local support service and shows young people how to get there and what to expect.

MadlyIn Love– A digital service where young people can share how they feel about sex, love and mental health.

Poll reveals affect of online self-harm images on children and young people

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Alarming numbers of 11-21 years olds are being exposed to images online showing people self-harming, with a significant proportion saying the images make them ‘feel like hurting themselves’, according to a poll commissioned by a consortium of leading UK youth charities.

The poll also reveals a worrying insight into the number of children and young people self-harming in Britain today. Over half of 11-14 year olds have self-harmed themselves or know someone who has self-harmed and eight out of every ten 18-21 year olds say they have  self-harmed or know someone who has self-harmed.

ChildLine, YouthNet (the charity behind TheSite.org), selfharmUK and YoungMinds commissioned a poll of 2,000 children and young people between the ages of 11 and 21. The charities are releasing the findings ahead of Self-Harm Awareness Day (Sunday 1stMarch).

20141404-Self-harm- HOME PAGEAmong the findings:

  • One in every four 11-14 year olds and seven out of ten of 18-21 year olds said they had seen images online showing someone self-harming
  • Of those who had seen an image of someone self-harming, over half of all 11-14 year olds and one in every four 18-21 year olds said they had ‘felt like hurting themselves’ after seeing these images
  • Of those who had seen an image of someone self-harming, nine out of every ten 11-14 year olds and eight out of every ten 18-21year olds said they had found the images upsetting.
  • Of those who had seen an image of someone self-harming, six out of every ten 11-14 year olds and one in ten 18-21 year olds said they had shared images of someone self-harming on social media
  • Over half of all 11-21 year olds said they wouldn’t know how to report an image of someone self-harming on social media
  • Around a third of 11-18 year olds and 69% of 18-21 year olds said they would go online for support and information about self-harm

Speaking on behalf of the charities, Lucie Russell, Director of Campaigns at YoungMinds, says: “These findings are extremely worrying and beg concerning questions about the relationship between self-harm, children, young people and parts of the online world. Our research shows that exposure to images of people self-harming online is far too common among children and young people and that this exposure is having a significant effect on their well-being.

“What is most frightening is the young age of children being affected by online imagery with 11-14 year olds finding the images particularly upsetting and making them more likely to self-harm themselves. Sharing images of self-harm on social media is also more common among these younger age groups, which is also a very worrying finding.

“Our research provides a troubling insight into young people and social media in relation to self-harm. There is an urgent need for more detailed research so that we can gain a deeper understanding of why the numbers of young people who are self-harming are continuing to climb at such an alarming rate.

“We must do more to build emotional resilience among children and young people to help them deal with the pressures that they face both online and offline.

Emma Thomas, CEO of YouthNet added: “We all have a responsibility to share content and images responsibly online and to be aware of how what we post might affect others. Far more must be done to educate and empower young people, so they can be safer online.

“This isn’t about demonising the internet or social media, it’s about making it a safer space for children and young people and our charities want to work with social media providers to achieve this.

“The online support provided to thousands of children and young people by our respective charities demonstrates how the internet can and is being used for good.”

To mark Self-Harm Awareness Day (Sunday March 1st), the charities are running a week-long online awareness campaign.

You can follow the Self-Harm Awareness Day activity on Twitter via #selfharm and #selfharmawarenessday and find out more about the campaign on each of the charities websites.

Ends/

*Case studies for press and media interviews are available on request.

Media Enquiries: Chris Leaman at YoungMinds on 020 7089 5066 or 07813 810114 or Kate Sidwell at YouthNet, kate.sidwell@youthnet.org or 07910 154673

Notes to Editors:

About the poll

2,000 11-21 year olds were surveyed by OnePoll between 21/1/15 and 27/1/15.

About the Charities/Services

YouthNet is the charity behind online guide to life, TheSite.org which supports around 1 million 16 to 25 year olds in the UK each year. The UK’s first exclusively online charity, YouthNet creates digital solutions to ease young people’s isolation and to make their lives better. www.youthnet.org

ChildLine offers children and young people aged 18 and under free, confidential advice and support 24 hours a day – no problem is too big or small. Our trained volunteer counsellors can be contacted through our helpline 0800 1111 or on www.childline.org.uk for online chat or email.

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people. Driven by their experiences, we campaign, research and influence policy and practice. www.youngminds.org.uk

selfharmUK – Is a safe, pro-recovery website that supports young people who self-harm. It also offers training for parents, carers and professionals equipping them to handle disclosure and provide effective support. www.selfharm.co.uk

 

What is self-harm? The phrase ‘self-harm’ is used to describe a wide range of behaviours. Self-harm is often understood to be a physical response to an emotional pain of some kind, and can be very addictive. Some of the things people do are quite well known, such as cutting, burning or pinching, but there are many, many ways to hurt yourself, including abusing drugs and alcohol or having an eating disorder.

YouthNet volunteer chosen to ‘hang out’ with HRH Prince Charles proves digital can be a force for good

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A young volunteer chosen to be at The Prince of Wales’s side at his first ever Google+ Hangout tomorrow afternoon (Thursday 20 November) says she’s looking forward to chatting with the future King about how digital can be used as a force for good.

Helen Davies, aged 25, from Stockport, has been a volunteer online chat moderator for TheSite.org for the past two years. TheSite is the digital life-line for young people aged 16-25 which is run by YouthNet.  YouthNet is among the charities supporting Step up to Serve’s #iwill campaign which is celebrating its first anniversary.

Helen says: “I’m really looking forward to meeting His Royal Highness, so I can tell him more about how young people connect with and support one another on theSite. Having access to a safe, anonymous space where they can get support from their peers can be so empowering. Online often gets a bad press, so it’s important to show people how digital can also be used as a force for good.

“My experience as a volunteer for YouthNet and TheSite has been so rewarding and I’ve gained so much in the way of skills and knowledge. I’m about to begin training and supervising other volunteers, so I can pass on what I’ve learned.”

TheSite provides advice, support and information on everything from mental health to employment. Peer-to-peer live chat forums are held five days a week with trained volunteers acting as moderators to ensure a trusted and safe environment for its users. Young people using the service can remain completely anonymous and talk about anything they want to get support for, but common topics include self-harm, mental health, family and relationships.

TheSite currently has 18 volunteer moderators, all giving their time for free to support other young people. They are fully trained and supported by the YouthNet team, ensuring they have lots of opportunities to gain new skills, experience and confidence.

YouthNet CEO, Emma Thomas, says: “We’re incredibly grateful for the contribution made by Helen and our army of volunteers to the lives of the young people we support. Peer to peer support is so important and the generosity of spirit of our volunteers never ceases to amaze me.

“I’m often asked why it’s so important to provide support online. Put simply, we know that young people go online to seek help and advice, so that’s where our services need to be.”

You can join the #iwill Hangout on the 20th November at 1530 by visiting:

Google+: https://plus.google.com/events/c2m7bppgi91st94kmstunl0ja3c?authkey=CNb9-ITz66-x3gE

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y38VWobOWiI

The Google+ Hangout will also be streamed live on the British Monarchy YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/theroyalchannel

Ends

YouthNet media contacts: kate.sidwell@youthnet.org tel: 07910 154673 or zoe.bailie@youthnet.org tel: 020 7250 5713. Out of hours: 07766 660 755

Notes to editor:

On Thursday 20 November at 3.30pm, HRH The Prince of Wales will meet young people involved in social action across the UK via his first ever Google+ Hangout.  This will mark the first anniversary of the #iwill campaign which he launched in 2013 with support from the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition.

The #iwill campaign is run by Step Up To Serve, an independent charity set-up to coordinate all related activity.  YouthNet is among the charities supporting Step Up To Serve.

#iwill aims to make social action the norm for all 10-20 year olds in the UK by 2020.  Youth social action is defined as ‘young people taking practical action in the service of others’, such as volunteering, fundraising or campaigning.  #iwill also promotes the fact that social action not only benefits the young participants, but also strengthens their communities, creating a ‘double benefit’.

YouthNet is the charity behind online guide to life, TheSite, which supports around 1 million 16 to 25 year olds in the UK each year.

The UK’s first exclusively online charity, YouthNet creates digital solutions to ease young people’s isolation and to make their lives better.

YouthNet has developed a range of complementary digital services to support young people:

TheSite – the guide to life for 16 to 25 year-olds, with 2,000 articles/videos/blogs about job seeking, housing, sexual health,
mental wellbeing, drugs and more

StepFinder – Local help, easily found. An app that pin-points the nearest local support service and shows young people how to get there and what to expect.

Madly In Love– A digital service where young people can share how they feel about sex, love and mental health.

YouthNet and Get Connected join forces in anti-bullying campaign to support young people

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Following the closure of the BeatBullying Group, leading UK youth charities YouthNet and Get Connected are joining forces for an anti-bullying campaign to ensure children and young people know they have somewhere to find support.

Get Connected, proudly supported by Dixons Carphone, provides a free and confidential, multi-issue helpline for under 25s across six interactive channels, while YouthNet provide online advice, youth peer forums and signposting for a range of issues including bullying. Both charities are focussed on ensuring that children and young people affected by bullying, discrimination, harassment and anything related to these issues have a safe space to seek support.

Jessica Taplin, CEO at Get Connected, says: “Get Connected and YouthNet are committed to supporting children and young people and we will work together to ensure that all young people know where to go to access help and support.

The closure of Beat Bullying means less education on how to prevent and deal with bullying. At Get Connected, our trained volunteers help hundreds of children and young people every month by phone, text, email and web chat with whatever issue they are facing, from bullying and depression to self-harm. It’s crucial that young people have somewhere safe and reliable to turn to. Get Connected provides emotional support, helping young people navigate multiple issues before connecting them with the exact specialist support they need.”

Emma Thomas, Chief Executive at YouthNet, says: “When young people need help, very often the first place they go is online. It is vital that they have access to an anonymous, safe space where they can go for the advice and support they need – when they need it. We hope that by working with Get Connected, we can ensure that many more young people who are affected by bullying and other issues have somewhere to turn.”

Get Connected and YouthNet services are available every day of the year to provide emotional support, advice and signposting for under 25s. For more information visit www.getconnected.org.uk or www.thesite.org

ENDS


NOTES TO EDITORS:
For more information or accompanying images please contact Catherine Sweet, Marketing & Communications Manager at Get Connected: 020 7009 2516 / catherine.sweet@getconnected.org.uk

Media contact for YouthNet: kate.sidwell@youthnet.org or 07910 154673.

  • Get Connected is the free, confidential & multi-issue national helpline service supporting vulnerable young people under 25 all over the UK. Last year 180,378 young people accessed our services. Get Connected is registered charity number 1081840 and depends entirely on voluntary donations. Get Connected is a key partner of Child Helpline International, a global network of 173 child helplines in 142 countries.
  • Call FREE: 0808 808 4994 (1pm-11pm daily) / Text for FREE help 80849
    Email: help@getconnected.org.uk / Web chat: getconnected.org.uk (1pm-11pm daily)
    WebHelp 24/7: www.getconnected.org.uk
  • YouthNet is the charity behind online guide to life, TheSite, which supports around 1 million 16-25 year olds in the UK each year. The UK’s first exclusively online charity, YouthNet creates digital solutions to ease young people’s isolation and to make their lives better.
  • BeatBullying was designed to empower young people to lead anti-bullying campaigns in their schools and local communities and devised peer-to-peer prevention strategies focussed on education to combat the problem.

YouthNet, together with O2, launches ‘digital mate’ to motivate young people to achieve employment goals

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PRESS RELEASE- 00.01hrs, Monday 17 November 2014

A free mobile app to motivate young people to achieve their career and employment goals, is being launched today by digital charity, YouthNet, together with O2.

Called ‘Motimator’, the app is a ‘digital mate to motivate’. It has been designed and developed by a group of 12 young volunteers, aged 18-24, supported by YouthNet and digital telecommunications company O2. The volunteers were recruited by GoThinkBig, which is O2 and Bauer Media’s work experience initiative.

The app has been created to inspire and motivate young job-seekers on their journey to employment whether they are currently looking for work or still in education and planning their future career.

The innovative project follows research by YouthNet and Nominet Trust* which revealed that for young people their phone was a trusted friend and – like any good mate – should be a supporter and motivator.

This is how the app works. Once you’ve downloaded Motimator free for iPhone, iPads and Android devices from www.motimator.org, simply pick a ‘motivation mate’ from the app’s menu and then sit back as your mate sends you daily tips and inspiration, plus facts about getting into the industry of your choice.

The tips and hints from Motimator are taken from TheSite, the UK’s trusted information source for young people (run by YouthNet), and from GoThinkBig.co.uk among others.

You can even personalise Motimator, by uploading your own image (or someone who inspires you) to help give you that extra kick-up-the-arse to achieve your goals.

Five cool things that Motimator can do:

  • Provide you with expert advice and tips on how to achieve your career goals.
  • Help you to bounce back from setbacks: Motimator is your very own personal cheerleader, giving you the confidence to stay upbeat through the bad job-hunting times.
  • Break down overwhelming goals into daily bite-sized ones, making even the biggest ideas feel more achievable.
  • Make you stand out from the crowd: in an increasingly competitive job market, Motimator’s insider tips can help you break into the industry of your choice.
  • Help you to stop just talking about the career you want, and focus on getting it, by sending you daily messages of encouragement.

What’s more, Motimator is linked to TheSite – which features thousands of advice articles and videos, opportunities for live chats with experts and a thriving community, all there to help.

Among those involved in the research, design and development of Motimator was 19 year old Ahdab Nasir, a Bsc Multimedia Computing student at Westminster University. She says: “We looked at the struggles young people found when looking for employment and thought how we could solve this digitally. We brainstormed the idea in different ways and even did an Apprentice like activity where we pitched our ideas to the YouthNet and GoThinkBig staff who were in the roles of Lord Sugar and his team.

“I’ve learnt so many digital skills and it was really interesting to be involved in every stage of the process. I’m really proud of the final Motimator app and I hope that it will help other young people to fulfil their employment goals.”

YouthNet Chief Executive, Emma Thomas, says: “We hope that through Motimator, we can support and inspire young people to stay motivated, take positive action when seeking employment and improve their future employability prospects. Our thanks go to O2 Go Think Big for supporting this project, and to all the young people who devoted their time and energy to making this app a reality.”

Tracey Herald, Head of Community at O2, says: “The Motimator app is a great example of the role that digital technology can play in improving access to advice and opportunities that will help young people to achieve their employment goals. The app provides a welcome addition to our existing digital support for young jobseekers through GoThinkBig. We’re delighted to work in partnership with YouthNet and a group of talented young volunteers to help many more young people on the path to employment.”

Ends

*Source: Supporting young people through mobile technology, YouthNet and Nominet Trust, 2012. http://mobilesupport.youthnet.org/insight/

If you would like to interview the young people involved in the project, please contact the YouthNet press office.

YouthNet media contacts: kate.sidwell@youthnet.org tel: 07910 154673 or zoe.bailie@youthnet.org tel: 020 7250 5713. Out of hours: 07766 660 755 or @YouthNetUK

O2 Press Office: pressoffice@o2.com or 01753 565656.

Notes to editor:
YouthNet is the charity behind online guide to life, TheSite, which supports around 1 million 16 to 25 year olds in the UK each year.
The UK’s first exclusively online charity, YouthNet creates digital solutions to ease young people’s isolation and to make their lives better.
YouthNet has developed a range of complementary digital services to support young people:
TheSite – the guide to life for 16 to 25 year-olds, with 2,000 articles/videos/blogs about job seeking, housing, sexual health,
mental wellbeing, drugs and more
StepFinder – Local help, easily found. An app that pin-points the nearest local support service and shows young people how to get there and what to expect.
MadlyIn Love– A digital service where young people can share how they feel about sex, love and mental health.

Panic attacks are a monster of a problem for young people, but you don’t have to be under X-Factor pressure to experience them, says YouthNet

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PRESS RELEASE – 13 October 2014

YouthNet, the online charity for young people, is today (13 October) launching The Panic Attack Monster – an online awareness campaign aiming to de-stigmatise and de-mystify panic attacks among young people.

In the past week alone, it’s been reported that X-Factor contestant Helen Fulthorpe has had a suspected panic attack, while schoolboy Charlie has bravely spoken out

about his panic attacks on Channel 4’s Educating the East End. Fashion blogger Zoella has also revealed she has them. Yet despite the headlines, panic attacks are commonly misunderstood. The reality is they can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere and you don’t have to be under X-Factor type pressure to experience them.

YouthNet, which is the charity behind digital life-line TheSite, has created a series of 30 second videos starring The Panic Attack Monster – a fictional character who represents how it feels to have a panic attack.

Panic attacks are experienced by a third of young women and one in ten young men in the UK.* Despite this, panic attacks are widely misunderstood. Many young people who have panic attacks don’t fully understand what they are experiencing or where to get advice on how to cope with them. They can often feel they aren’t being taken seriously and feel stigmatised.

Panic attacks are severe attacks of anxiety and fear that often come on without warning and can last up to 20 minutes.  They cause a number of symptoms such as a pounding heart, sweating, shaking, elevated pulse, and an intense feeling of needing to catch a breath.  Panic attacks can even make you think you’re about to die, though you’re not actually in any danger.

The Panic Attack Monster character in the campaign is an unpleasant character in a green furry suit with demonic horns.  He can attack any time, but everyday scenarios depicted in the campaign, include: being in a contained space such as a lift, being at the cinema, and social situations like approaching someone you don’t know in a bar.

YouthNet Chief Executive, Emma Thomas, says: “You don’t have to be under X-Factor pressure to experience a panic attack, they are commonly experienced in ordinary, everyday situations. Yet young people who come to TheSite seeking support, often tell us they don’t want to admit they experience panic attacks for fear they’ll be misunderstood by their family and friends. Many say they are worried they are ‘going crazy’ and feel very isolated as a result. We know that young men in particular, are less likely to open up about having panic attacks.

“We hope that through using humour in our Panic Attack Monster campaign, we can get more young people talking about panic attacks and begin to reduce the stigma surrounding them. We can’t stop young people from experiencing the terror of panic attacks, but we want them to understand them better, so they can seek the support and advice they need.

The Panic Attack Monster campaign is at home on YouTube. There are four thirty second adverts being released over the next three weeks.

To visit The Panic Attack Monster, please go to: www.TheSite.org/PanicAttackMonster

You can further support the campaign by signing up to our social Thunderclap – to help young people tame the Panic Attack Monster – and break down the taboos surrounding him:

Ends

* Source: Prince’s Trust. January 2014

Notes to editor:

YouthNet is the charity behind online guide to life, TheSite, which supports around 1 million 16 to 25 year olds in the UK each year.

The UK’s first exclusively online charity, YouthNet creates digital solutions to ease young people’s isolation and to make their lives better.

YouthNet has developed a range of complementary digital services to support young people:

  • TheSite – the guide to life for 16 to 25 year-olds, with 2,000 articles/videos/blogs about job seeking, housing, sexual health,
    mental wellbeing, drugs and more
  • StepFinder – Local help, easily found. An app that pin-points the nearest local support service and shows young people how to get there and what to expect.
  • Madly In Love– A digital service where young people can share how they feel about sex, love and mental health.
  • Makewav.es – YouthNet contributes to this social learning environment, which provides social media for education.

Digital charity YouthNet announces the appointment of a new Chair

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Luke Taylor, Global Chief Executive of the world’s leading marketing and technology agency DigitasLBi will become the new Chair of YouthNet, following the decision to step down by current Chair and Founder, Martyn Lewis.Lewis has been Chair of YouthNet, which provides digital support for 16 to 25 year-olds, since creating the charity in 1994.

A well-known television journalist, Lewis has been involved in the charity sector for more than 30 years, holding several trustee and Chair posts.Speaking about his decision to step down, Lewis said:

“As Chair, I have a clear duty of care to the charity I founded to ensure it is fully equipped to take advantage of the rapid changes in the digital revolution to deliver the support young people need. A key part of that is choosing the time to hand over the baton to a successor with a formidable track record in digital innovation. Luke fits the bill perfectly. I couldn’t be more delighted that he is taking the helm, and am confident that he will work extremely well with our inspired Chief Executive, Emma Thomas, to further develop YouthNet’s digital support for the benefit for young people in the UK today.

“It is 20 years since I founded YouthNet. It is embedded in my DNA, and I would like to thank the many wonderful people and organisations who have given the charity so much help and support along the way. I am honoured that Luke and the Board have asked me to remain involved and become YouthNet’s ‘Founder At Large’, so that I can still be available to help in whatever way I can.”

Incoming Chair, Taylor, has been Global Chief Executive of marketing and technology agency DigitasLBi since 2013. Prior to this he was Global Chief Executive of public-listed LBi, where he implemented a series of successful strategic transformations to ensure that the agency thrived in the rapidly evolving digital ecosystem.

Talking about his new role with YouthNet, Taylor said: “YouthNet’s innovative approach to developing digital support for young people is truly inspiring. It’s hard to think of another charity so in tune with young people’s needs and so entrepreneurial in spirit.

“I feel privileged to be taking over the position of Chair from such an esteemed founder and look forward to helping YouthNet achieve its ambition of reaching even more young people with its unique brand of support and advice.”

YouthNet supports 1 million young people each year through a range of digital support, primarily through its flagship service, TheSite.org, which helps them to develop the social and emotional skills, resilience and determination to cope with life’s challenges.

Chief Executive, Emma Thomas said: “Martyn has worked tirelessly to champion the needs of young people, the powerful role of digital, and YouthNet’s continued delivery of services which make a difference.  It has been a real pleasure to work with him.  Whilst he is stepping down, I am pleased that he will stay connected and grateful for his continued support.

“We are delighted to welcome Luke to the Board and know he will be a great addition to the organisation as we develop further innovative new digital services to impact on young people’s lives and look to support 1.6m young people a year by 2016.”

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Notes to editorsAll media enquiries: Zoe Bailie, YouthNet, 020 7250 5713Email: zoe.bailie@youthnet.orgNote that Martyn will be continuing as Chair of NCVO, the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service and Families of the Fallen.

About YouthNet

YouthNet is the charity behind online guide to life, TheSite, which supports around 1 million 16 to 25 year olds in the UK each year.

The UK’s first exclusively online charity, YouthNet creates digital solutions to ease young people’s isolation and to make their lives better.YouthNet has developed a range of complementary digital services to support young people:

  • TheSite – the guide to life for 16 to 25 year-olds, with 2,000 articles/videos/blogs about job seeking, housing, sexual health,mental wellbeing, drugs and more
  • StepFinder – Local help, easily found. An app that pin-points the nearest local support service and shows young people how to get there and what to expect.
  • Madly In Love- A digital service where young people can share how they feel about sex, love and mental health.
  • Makewav.es – YouthNet contributes to this social learning environment, which provides social media for education.

About DigitasLBi

DigitasLBi is a global marketing and technology agency that transforms businesses for the digital age. We help companies of all shapes and sizes decide what’s next… and then we take them there. In 25 countries around the world, across 40 offices, there are more than 6,700 digital experts working to enrich people’s lives via our unique blend of strategy, creativity, media and technology.

Our skills span insight, brand building, content creation and distribution, as well as the ability to help clients organise themselves for the consequences of the change. We act as strategic partner to some of the world’s most exciting brands across travel, financial services, FMCG, publishing, telecoms and retail.

There are many things that make DigitasLBi unique but if we had to choose one it would be our ability to connect data with storytelling to help make brands special, shareable and more ultimately valuable wherever, whenever and however people choose to engage with them.

 

YouthNet CEO responds to MindEd launch

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“We welcome new approaches to improving mental health services like MindEd that champions digital intervention and supports adults in understanding young people’s needs, but we need to do more.

“We know that young people are often unsure about how to talk about these issues, so they need to be given the confidence to distinguish their feelings, so that they feel empowered to seek help.

“Digital support provided in a style and tone they can relate to offers a vital and safe space to share openly and is often the place they turn to before seeking professional advice.

“We hope to continue to see investment in digital solutions like MindEd and look forward to further opportunities to work collaboratively to tackle this issue for young people into the future.”