Healios launches ThinkNinja® – a ground breaking mental health app for young people. The UK’s largest clinical trial into digital mental-health apps
ThinkNinja®, the world’s most advanced mental health app specifically designed for young people, is undergoing clinical trials with over 5,000 children in seven schools across Europe. The new app from Healios, helps young people aged 11 to 17 years old with their mental health, emotional well-being and resilience, and supports symptoms of anxiety and low mood.
Launching as the first technological development in a series from Healios, ThinkNinja® will provide ‘in-your-pocket’ instant access to high quality, early-intervention care for young people, especially for those who are struggling with their mood. Richard Andrews founder, chairman and CEO said, “We’re using cutting-edge digital technology to engage children and young people, enabling them to create their own coping strategies to build resilience and stay well. We didn’t stop there, we’ve pushed the technology and science even further to support young people in need. With the app’s artificial intelligence engine, it automatically adjusts to support the young person with evidence based clinical techniques if they have developed symptoms of anxiety or low mood. With its learning algorithms, 24/7 accessibility and gamification appeal, ThinkNinja® is designed especially for today’s digital-native generation.”
The NHS currently only has capacity to see 25% of Children and Young People (CYP) who suffer with mental illness. Over the next five years, the NHS target is 33%. Andrews continued, “Mental health disorders in young people are sadly on the increase, moving from one in ten children 13 years ago to now one in eight having a mental illness. This is a tragedy for our future generation and the health system simply cannot cope. Our vision is for every child and young person in the UK to receive the care they need on their terms without wait. In partnership with the NHS, schools and other agencies, digital advancements in mental health can ensure that more high quality, clinically proven care is readily available for all. With seven schools taking part in these clinical trials, the ThinkNinja® app is a huge step forward in both preventative and early intervention care for young people.”
5,000 school children will test the ThinkNinja® app across schools in Madrid, Devon, Hampshire, Somerset and Derbyshire.
Ms Helen McKay, Senior Assistant Headteacher at St Mary’s Catholic High School in Chesterfield, Derbyshire said, “We have nearly 1,300 pupils at our school and we take mental health and emotional wellbeing very seriously. We’ve taken an important decision to invest as a school in wellbeing support services but we can still go much further. ThinkNinja® is an exciting innovation from Healios and one that complements our existing wellbeing support services to help increase access to evidence-based interventions required by young people through a channel that we know they love to engage through. We’re thrilled to be part of the clinical study to pilot this new app.”
Mr Mark Semmence, Head Master and Principal of the Foundation at Mount Kelly school, Tavistock, Devon said, “The consequences of mental illness in children are clear if we don’t take proactive steps. It affects schooling and leads to educational underachievement which has implications for the ability of our pupils to move on to further education and employment. We must look to digital innovations in schools as an important part of our toolkit to bring preventative as well as early help to our pupils, so they have the best chance to fulfil their potential. The ThinkNinja app allows us to get a step ahead and address mental health challenges sooner. Being part of the clinical study to evaluate innovative solutions reflects our commitment to continue to do the best for our pupils.”
To find out more about ThinkNinja® and to sign-up for the full roll-out, go to www.thinkninja.io/news
About Think Ninja
ThinkNinja® is a pioneering innovation built by technical, design and clinical experts, guided by young people. At the heart of ThinkNinja® is a learning algorithm that develops a deeper understanding of the user, through asking a series of clinically related questions. The app is designed as an early intervention to help with the stresses that life throws at all teenagers, from exams to relationships and dealing with social interactions.
ThinkNinja® can pick up on behaviours that fuel anxiety and low mood and then help the user develop new behaviours and coping strategies to face their fears. If the young person’s mental health worsens, the app will also detect risky behaviours such as suicidal thinking and support the young person reach out for urgent help. ThinkNinja was not designed to replace human clinicians but to help young people manage and cope better. All the evidence suggests that early interventions have a positive impact in later life. Plus, schools and NHS Mental Health Services are already overburdened both in demand and cost.