Children and Young People’s Digital Mental Health Communications Training

7th February 2023

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many mental health services increased their online provision, with supportive resources and therapies available on online platforms. A previous review into digital mental health resources for children and young people across Sussex was conducted in collaboration with YMCA DownsLink Group (DLG) and Kent Surrey Sussex AHSN (KSS AHSN). This review highlighted several key recommendations, including:

  • Increasing diversity and inclusion across platforms.
  • Making text-saturated sites more engaging through images, videos, interactive elements, and more.
  • Incorporating the voices of children and young people in online content.
  • Ensure continuity and connection through resources and services involved.


Following the review, YMCA DLG partnered with KSS AHSN to deliver the Pan-Sussex Digital Mental Health Communications Training Programme, which was funded by Health Education England. Aimed at those working with children and young people (CYP) across Sussex, the training was designed with a collaborative approach and was co-delivered by e-wellbeing’s Youth Ambassadors from YMCA Dialogue, alongside experienced therapeutic and digital professionals.

Using a collaborative approach, Unity Insights evaluated the training programme to understand the effectiveness and impact of programme, including the key take-away actions of participants.

Over 200 people registered for the training across Sussex, with 96 attending the training and 64 providing survey feedback. Respondents worked across the NHS, voluntary and community sector, local authority, academia, primary care, and strategic bodies.

Feedback was positive, with participants valuing the inclusion of Youth Ambassadors in the training delivery and the range of topics covered.

  • 94% agreed the content was relevant to their roles
  • 91% felt that they now have a better understanding of how to develop effective digital communication materials and strategies
  • 86% agreed that their confidence in developing such materials has improved after the training



Our analysis outlined the key themes from the feedback, helping to highlight the positive responses and recommendations for the future. Participants identified their key take-away actions following the training, which included reviewing online communication material, including CYP within designs, and sharing learnings with colleagues.

Following the feedback on the training, wider rollouts and future sessions are being explored.




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