Peterborough pupils struggling with depression show signs of recovery thanks to new app

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Peterborough pupils struggling with depression have shown signs of recovery thanks to a new app from Thrive and YMCA Trinity Group.

Within a three month period in schools located in Peterborough and the surrounding areas, the Thrive app identified many young people displaying signs of moderate to severe depression.

Using the app, 27 per cent of those pupils reported signs of recovery and 24 per cent sought outside help from other support agencies.

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Moreover, for those using the Thrive app the cost of support was shown to total just over £5 per person, versus a minimum £270 for one-to-one treatment for a basic counselling programme.

27 per cent of pupils using the app reported signs of recovery27 per cent of pupils using the app reported signs of recovery
27 per cent of pupils using the app reported signs of recovery

Ryan Armes, project manager at YMCA Trinity Group, said: “We’re delighted to see these initial results coming in for those using Thrive. The fact that we can deliver huge cost savings across our region for a concern that is only ever increasing is extremely important to us.

“It’s no secret that mental health issues are reaching crisis levels among our young people and there simply isn’t enough support. The idea behind the Thrive app is to try and catch some of the early warning signs, acting as a preventative measure to try and stop issues escalating.

“Thrive is a clinically effective tool developed by psychiatrists and psychologists. In our trials the app identified many young people displaying signs of moderate to severe depression.

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“Using the exercises and techniques within the app, more than a quarter of these students reported signs of recovery, whilst others sought external help – we’re very proud that the app is showing such promising results already and we hope to help even more young people in 2019.”

More than 11 schools in Peterborough and the wider region are now using the Thrive app, and it may be rolled out to all schools in the city.

Gary Perkins, assistant director for education at Peterborough City Council, added: “When YMCA came and presented the app to our commissioning board we were extremely impressed and could instantly see its potential to support school staff and students to address their mental health needs. 

“Not only is it a cost effective support tool but it is available 24/7 and can provide really helpful data about the well-being needs of users. That means that we can work towards creating an evidence-based programme of support to improve outcomes for young people across Peterborough and reduce the burden on schools in having to cope with demand themselves. 

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“We are very keen to explore ways of making this accessible to all of our schools and urge all schools to consider how it could benefit them.”

New statistics released by NHS Digital in November 2018 showed that mental health difficulties have risen by over 25 per cent, equating to one in 8 young people aged 5-19 now experiencing problems – the equivalent of nearly four in every classroom. 

The app uses a number of clinically effective techniques to assess users’ overall wellbeing and provides support tools and strategies in an engaging, entertaining format.

The app is available to over 1 million people globally and the YMCA and Thrive partnership is enabling schools to use it a cost of £2 per user per year – a fraction of the open market cost.

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To find out more, schools should contact YMCA Trinity Group on 01733 373187 or [email protected]

More information is also available on YMCA Trinity Group’s website: