New animation series tackles teen mental health

Many young people are struggling
  • Deborah Condon

A new digital animation series, which looks at mental health issues among adolescents, has been launched by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

The five-part series tells the stories of young people who have experienced anxiety, depression, bullying, not fitting in and loneliness.

The scripts used are drawn directly from the real responses of young people who took part in an RCSI study and they are available both in English and Irish.

"Being young in Ireland can be challenging. 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," explained Helen Coughlan of the RCSI's department of psychiatry.

She said that the animation series gives a voice to these shared experiences.

"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," Ms Coughlan added.

The five-part series was funded by the Health Research Board and was designed in collaboration with the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT), Spunout.ie and the HSE.

Launching the series, Senator Lynn Ruane emphasised that promoting positive mental health among young people ‘is an integral part of promoting mental health in the overall population'.

"This initiative, undertaken by the RCSI, is a great way to encourage young people to fulfil their potential and cope with the challenges they face during this key developmental period and into the future," she said.

Meanwhile, according to Dr Darrin Morrissey, CEO of the Health Research Board, these are ‘simple stories about complex issues'.

"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," he said.

The animation series can be viewed here.

 


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