Digital Healthy Schools launched in North West London Schools

The NHS across North West London has launched an exciting new digital health programme for secondary schools, students and their parents.

The 'Digital Healthy Schools Programme' is a free programme that provides schools with the necessary information, support and guidance to help students explore and understand digital health and see the real difference it can make to not only their own health and wellbeing, but also their loved ones.

This innovative new programme harnesses the device students use most – their smart phones.

Take note…

  • Over 90% of under 16’s  in the UK own a mobile
  • digital health solutions are increasingly recognised as being a major aid to managing and improving health
  • of every 100 children, 10 will have a clinically diagnosable mental health problem, yet only three of those ten will receive treatment
  • the Digital Healthy Schools programme will support teachers to educate pupils about keeping healthy, and managing their mental health helping to keep more young people well and empower them to get the right support and help when needed.

The programme includes an engaging lesson package that demonstrates the risks of signing up to unregulated health apps and how to safely find and use apps to improve physical and emotional health and wellbeing.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) reports that stigma, or fear of being stigmatised, can mean that young people do not seek help for mental health problems. Charity Young Minds, say that young people often look for support and advice online for their mental health – young men and boys in particular – but this support is not always available. Teaching young people about digital health means that help will be more accessible to them.

Provided by ORCHA, part of the NHS England’s National Innovation Accelerator Programme, Digital Healthy Schools was trialled by a number of secondary schools in 2018. High-levels of engagement were seen amongst students during lessons and later, continuing to use apps to improve their mental and physical health. 

Launch event

The NW London programme is being launched on Tuesday 12 February, 4.30pm at 15 Marylebone Road, and on Wednesday 13 February, at Sattavis Patidar Centre, where teachers will be introduced to the programme and given their free packs including everything from lesson material through to bespoke app comparison websites.

Kwesi Afful, Digital Citizen & Innovation Lead, said: “Research shows that on average it takes between ten years for a child with a long term condition experiencing a symptom and actually asking for help.  Apps are a safe way to learn more about your own health and care. By providing children with the knowledge of safe and secure apps to use, like the ones on the NHS app library, children can be more confident in understanding their own health and wellbeing.”

ENDS