Dorset Children and Young People’s Mental Health Campaign

Dorset Children and Young People’s Mental Health Campaign

Encouraging Children and Young People across Dorset to support their mental health and wellbeing through digital health apps.


As per the Mental Health of Children and Young People in England 2023 report, from NHS England, it was found that 1 in 5 children and young people aged 8 to 25 residing in England likely had a mental health disorder in 2023. Despite a previous increase in rates from 2017 to 2020, the prevalence remained steady across all age groups from 2022 to 2023. The NHS is currently extending support to a record number of children and young people, having already assisted over 700,000 individuals with their mental health needs. NHS staff are exerting extraordinary efforts to meet the heightened demand for services.


In Dorset, it was acknowledged that there is a need to assist children and young people in addressing their mental health and well-being concerns when it comes to early help and prevention, especially considering the increasing demand for access and longer waiting times across services.

To address this, Public Health Dorset were involved in the selection of 10 free apps that would make up a targeted Children and Young People’s campaign with a specific landing page on the ORCHA public facing library.

The apps identified targeted particular areas around mental health and well-being including anxiety, depression, stress, sleep, self-harm and bereavement as well as apps to support friends and family members of young people who are struggling with their mental health.

A collaboration also took place with Dorset Youth Association who are part of the voluntary sector for them to reflect the same apps to ensure a consistent message at a time when young people are inundated with different messages online, including about apps and mental health.

By introducing a collection of digital health solutions helps children and young people autonomously tackle various mental health challenges or difficulties they may be facing or experiencing.

Further advantages of implementing a digital health campaign includes providing immediate access to support for those in need. Recognizing that the majority of young people are familiar with and comfortable using digital technologies, they are more inclined to engage with such initiatives.

Christian Telfer (NHS Dorset) said:

“Our population are actively searching for digital mental health and wellbeing support and clicking through to the Our Dorset App Library as a resource. Having a dedicated and trusted Youth Mental Health Apps page available is a much-needed section of that Library and reassures people that they are using apps which have met quality standards.”


Since the campaign launched In August 2023 we have seen nearly 2000 individual visits to the landing page. The Dorset microsite has had 9,498 total visits in that time meaning that 19% of the sessions are from the campaign page.

There have been over 200 app downloads from the campaign, and this makes up 21% of Dorset’s downloads since the campaign was launched.

The app with the most downloads from the campaign is Move Mood with 58 downloads. Of the apps that are included in the campaign 84% of their all-time downloads on our public facing microsite have taken place since the campaign went live.

The data indicated that digital health solutions are pivotal in aiding children and young people who are struggling with their emotional health and well – being. In having a curated selection of apps available on a dedicated landing page enables them to explore and select independently, potentially influencing their emotional wellbeing positively whilst providing them immediate access to a range of different support tools.

If you would like to visit the campaign page or browse our library of health apps please visit:

Raising Awareness of Self Harm

Raising Awareness of Self Harm

There is evidence of a recent increase in self-harm among young people in England. Statistics suggest that nationally, 7.3% of girls, and 3.6% of boys, aged 11 to 16, had self-harmed or attempted suicide at some point. The figures for 17 to 19 year olds were 21.5% for girls and 9.7% for boys. Over the course of someone’s lifetime, 1 in 14 people self-harm.

Over the last week colleagues at ORCHA have been looking at the impact digital health solutions have had in this sadly growing area of need.

  • Searches in this area increased by 10.54% in 2023 compared to 2022
  • On average (all time/since 2022) there are 405 searches per month for apps in this area
  • 2023 average searches per month in the area was 426
  • In the past 6 full calendar months (Aug 23 – Jan 24) there was a 7% increase in searches in this area compared to the previous 6 months (Feb 23 – July 23)
  • Searches seem steady/slowly increasing in this area, showing a constant and consistent need for support in this area
  • There was a 131% increase in downloads of apps in this category in 2023 compared to 2022
  • In the past 6 full calendar months (Aug 23 – Jan 24) there was a 17% increase in downloads in this area compared to the previous 6 months (Feb 23 – July 23)
  • January 2024 logged the highest amount of downloads in this category (with 112 downloads)
  • The top 3 downloaded apps in this category are: distrACT (411 downloads – 36% of all mobile downloads in this area), Tellmi: Better Mental Health (238 downloads), Stay Alive (112 downloads)
  • 46% of downloads of apps in this category have taken place on the Papyrus site

As Customer Success Manager Mike Pearce says,

“It shows that if people are struggling out there that there IS someone who will listen and there are digital health apps that can be used. So powerful the impact ORCHA is having with the Papyrus service

Best For You – UK’s first dedicated mental health support App Library for children and young people in need of mental health support

Case study

Best For You – UK’s first dedicated App Library for children and young people in need of mental health support

Lucia Victor


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, 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


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+

ORCHA celebrated as one of UK’s top 50 HealthTech companies


ORCHA celebrated as one of UK’s top 50 HealthTech companies

ORCHA team stood together outside
Featured image:ORCHA team stood together outside

ORCHA has been placed at number seven on a list of the top 50 HealthTech companies in the UK.

The ranking was compiled by technology magazine Business Cloud. It follows a succession of other award wins for ORCHA and its founder Liz Ashall-Payne, in just the last few months.

Commenting on her company’s inclusion in the ranking, Liz said: “Founding a health-tech start up has been an incredible challenge and has taken immense resilience. To be where we are today, with a committed team of creative, motivated colleagues, is fantastic. Massive thanks to all those voted for us to be in this prestigious ranking.”

Other award successes for ORCHA so far in 2022 are:

  • Women in IT Awards, Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Northern Power Woman, Outstanding Entrepreneur
  • EY Entrepreneur of the Year – regional finalist
  • Digital Leaders 100 – Digital Leader of the Year, runner up

ORCHA’s Health App Libraries are now used by doctors across extensive parts of the NHS and in 12 other countries. Health apps are routinely being recommended to help patients stop smoking, manage long term conditions, maintain a healthy weight, monitor their blood pressure, and much more.

Liz added: “The more we all turn to digital health tools, the more ORCHA will be needed. There’s an ongoing issue with quality. Only 20% of all the health apps we review – and we’ve done 20,000 reviews to date – meet the standards necessary for us to recommend them to the NHS.”

ORCHA’s rapid expansion means it is constantly recruiting. For details of the latest positions visit

Read more about the HealthTech 50 here: