News roundup

Published: 9 May 2019

A digital animation series on issues related to the mental health of young people

The five-part series, funded by the Health Research Board, features the voices and stories of young people who have experienced anxiety, bullying, not fitting in, depression and loneliness.

Screenshot from 'Anxiety' video

The animations’ scripts directly draw from the real responses of young people in Ireland who participated in RCSI’s 2013 'The Mental Health of Young People in Ireland' research study.

This found that an estimated one in two young people will have experienced significant issues affecting their mental health by the age of 25 years, with one in three by the age of just 13.

According to Helen Coughlan, Clinical Research Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry RCSI,

'Findings from our research have shown that that many young people are struggling with stress, anxiety, low mood and a sense of isolation and disconnection from others. Oftentimes, they experience these issues privately and in silence without ever letting other people know. Working with our partners, the IADT, the HSE and SpunOut.ie and the HRB, we have been able to give voice to these shared experiences among Irish youth through this project. We hope that any young person who watches the animations will feel less alone and more able to reach out for support if they are struggling with any of the issues captured so sensitively in the animations'.

Dr Darrin Morrissey, Chief Executive at the Health Research Board said,

'These are simple stories about complex issues, honestly told. I believe these animations will resonate with young people and I hope anyone who is experiencing anxiety, bullying, not fitting in, depression and loneliness can benefit from the key messages conveyed'.

'I would like to congratulate everyone involved in this project which is an excellent example of how health research can be translated in an accessible way to benefit people’s health'.

The series was designed by researchers in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) in collaboration with the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT), SpunOut.ie and the HSE.

Read the full press release on the RCSI website.

You can watch the videos on the Spun Out website. They are also available on You Tube in the RCSI #YMHanimate Project playlist.

The animations are available to view in both English and Irish.