A video created by Lizzy Winstone and members of ARC West and Bristol BRC’s Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG) about social media and young people’s mental health has won a best use of social media for involvement award. The accolade was given at the inaugural Young People’s Involvement in Digital Mental Health (YPii DMH) awards in a ceremony at the University of Nottingham on 22 July.

The short video was based on the results of Lizzy’s PhD project, working with YPAG members on every aspect of the animation, including the script and voiceover.

The judges said:

“We were delighted to present NIHR ARC West’s YPAG and Lizzy Winstone with the Best Use of Social Media in Involvement Award. We were impressed by the way Lizzy worked with the YPAG to turn her PhD findings into something that supports young people’s use of social media rather than undermining it, supporting their mental health by giving them tools rather than approaching it as a set of rules. It really tapped into that core concept of involvement, research being led by the people it’s for.”

The YPii DMH special interest research group, which hosted the awards, is part of the research network Emerging Minds. The awards were also supported by the NIHR Mental Health MedTech Co-operative.

Dr Aislinn Bergin at the University of Nottingham is a co-founder of YPii DMH and organised the awards. She said:

“I am an early career researcher who feels very strongly about the involvement of young people in digital mental health research and development. Along with other colleagues from across several organisations I co-founded YPii DMH special interest research group to improve and increase the opportunities for young people in this area. It has been a real pleasure to organise these awards to recognise the incredible work that is being done involving young people in digital mental health research and development. It has been made possible by Emerging Minds who have supported us in so many ways on this journey.”

Lizzy said:

“I’m absolutely thrilled that our video has won this award! The animation is very much a co-production with members of YPAG, and this award really recognises their involvement as being central to its success. I’d like to thank them for their amazing insights and contributions. Without them, this video wouldn’t exist – and certainly wouldn’t have been an award winner.”

Alice Matthews, the member of the Young People’s Advisory Group who provided the voiceover for the video, said:

“I really enjoyed working on this project because just about any young person should be able to relate to it. I think it was really important that young people were given a voice when making this video because adults often don’t fully understand the role social media plays in our lives. We wanted to show social media isn’t just bad like we’re often told. It can have many positive sides as long as you think about what you’re doing and I think the tips in our video show how you can keep in control and make social media work for you.”

Watch the video

Check out the award winning video below: