Best For You – UK’s first dedicated App Library for children and young people in need of mental health support
Best For You is a new initiative from leading NHS organisations that is transforming mental health services for children and young people. The project is led by CW+, the official charity of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and is a coalition of NHS organisations including Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Central North West London NHS Foundation Trust, West London NHS Trust and Imperial College.
Best For You works across the existing services provided by the partners as well as the broader health and social care and third sector to introduce new innovative models and partnerships to provide support for as much of the largest health population in the country as possible. The service uses next-generation therapeutic interventions and digital tools to provide the best possible care for patients – including the use of digitally and clinically assured digital health solutions from their ORCHA Health App Library.
This new integrated approach working across partners and the wider ecosystem is in response to the public health crisis surrounding children and young people’s need for mental health support. A survey commissioned by NHS Digital found that the number of children and young people with clinically significant mental health conditions was 50% higher post-COVID-19 than the previous survey three years earlier. New data shows that referrals to child and adolescent mental health services in March 2021 were more than double those in March 2020. Best For You helps to tackle this issue through tailored, holistic care which seamlessly integrates mental health services, physical health service, community services and partnerships and digital tools.
Best For You worked with ORCHA to develop a Health App Library designed to support children and young people struggling with their mental health, and their families and carers, to access safe, accredited health apps to support them.
The site includes thousands of assessed health apps, including around 300 mental health apps, which have been reviewed against 350+ criteria across clinical effectiveness, data security and accessibility. ORCHA’s review process for health apps incorporates nationally recognised digital health standards and regulations, including an adapted version of the NICE Evidence Standards Framework.
By including compliant digital therapies in its care pathways through the ORCHA partnership, Best For You is addressing the rising levels of children and young people facing serious mental health difficulties, while safeguarding them from any harmful digital health solutions. The Best For You ORCHA Library can be accessed at bestforyou.orcha.co.uk, and is the UK’s first dedicated App Library for children and young people in need of mental health support. The main Best For You digital platform can be viewed at bestforyou.org.uk.
The Best For You Library launched in November 2021, and has already had almost 2,000 page sessions and over 2,300 searches for apps to help with mental health conditions such as anxiety, low mood, eating disorders and sleep.
“This is something that people were looking for. Having that trusted and validated one-stop-shop for digital health tools for young people is something that clearly service users and clinicians are starting to tap into.
From our perspective at CW+ and Chelsea and Westminster, working with ORCHA was really the only option to create the kind of App Library we wanted to deliver. Ultimately, this is about keeping people as people and stopping them from becoming patients in the first place.”
Chris Chaney, Chief Executive of CW+