Burnt Mill students develop mental health app

A MENTAL health support app is being created by teenagers in Harlow.

Year 10 students at Burnt Mill Academy, in First Avenue, are working with Anglia Ruskin University on a Europe-wide study into teenage mental health.

Tim Waller, a professor of child and family studies at the university, spoke with staff at the school and others from within the academic health science partnership, UCL Partners.

Paul Williams, responsible for research projects at Burnt Mill, said: “We were told about the project and asked our professional advice on how to take the findings forward to develop tech to support young people with mental health issues.

“With teen suicide on the rise, it’s a very important research project.”
Burnt Mill peer mentors have been gathering information and views from students on what form the app should take and what signposts there are to getting the right help.

In July, the students will go to Anglia Ruskin to work with the science faculty on developing the app.

Robyn Gilbert, co head of science at Burnt Mill, has been co-ordinating the research project at the school. She said: “Our students have come up with some excellent ideas. It’s great to be involving them in this process as their whole lives are centred around apps and technology so they are the very best people to make suggestions.”

Mr Williams said: “Our children’s views and opinions will be involved in this whole development. They will also get invaluable experience of developing an app and see how computer science can be used in a real-life career.”

The app will be trialled at Burnt Mill in December.

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