New Digital Mental Health Service Launches for Young People Across Berkshire West. 

Within Berkshire West, an estimated 14.3% of 11 – 16 year olds have a diagnosable mental health disorder

  • All 11 – 17 years olds will be able to access the support for free – anonymously
  • New Solution Focused Therapy available to young people by self-referral

A new partnership has been founded to support and improve the mental health of Berkshire West’s young people.

Tellmi, an evidence-based mental health app that delivers digital pre-moderated peer support and solution focused therapy, has been commissioned by NHS Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire & Berkshire West’s Integrated Care Board in partnership with Reading’s children’s services company, Brighter Futures for Children, West Berkshire Council and Wokingham Borough Council to launch in July.

The Tellmi app will be made available to all 11-17 year olds (up to their 18th birthday) living and studying in Reading, West Berkshire And Wokingham.

Providing 365 day access to an age-banded, anonymous space to discuss feelings and seek support.

To help embed and utilise the newly available service, Tellmi will be working with the main care providers for young people along with mental health support systems already in place across the local authorities, including Mental Health Support Teams within schools (where available) and Primary Mental Health Teams – providing advice, support and interventions.

Dr Heather Howells, a partner and trainer at Kintbury and Woolton Hill Surgeries, and GP Clinical Lead for Mental health, dementia and learning disabilities at BOB ICB – Berkshire West said:

“The emotional wellbeing and mental health of our children and young people has always been a priority but probably never more so than now as we look at the challenges and pace of life and the all pervasive influence of social media.

Add to this the pandemic which, for many children and young people, has exacerbated their feelings of worry and anxiety.”

“Tellmi is a great resource to help try and capture their concerns and try and prevent them growing into more serious problems.”

The reality is, the prevalence of mental health disorders amongst young people continues to increase1. Within Berkshire West, an estimated 14.3% of 11 – 16 year olds have a diagnosable mental health disorder².

These increases add further pressure and demand on services such as Berkshire CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) which has seen a 60% increase in referrals in the last 12 months.

To help reduce the strain on the service, whilst ensuring all children and young people can obtain immediate help, Tellmi will be providing young people with solution focused brief therapy.

The short-term goal-focused therapeutic approach is designed to help young people think more positively about their future and identify existing skills and strengths.

In a statement, Kerstyn Comley, Co-Ceo and Co-founder of Tellmi said:

“Digital solutions have the potential to transform the way that mental health support is accessed.

But they must be safe and evidenced-based, which is why at Tellmi, everything is backed up by research and safeguarding is a priority.”

“By integrating into an existing, structured care pathway in Berkshire West, children and young people are now able to access the right support for them, at the right time.”

As a result of Tellmi already being commissioned by the NHS across several UK regions and many schools funding the app independently, Berkshire West’s young people will be joining an established community who are not only seeking support from their peers, but actively replying to others’ posts offering support, relatability and empathy.

Tellmi is a BACP accredited service and ensures that all counsellors hold the relevant qualifications and accreditations required for the service that they provide.

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  1. NHS Digital (2022). Waiting times for children and young people’s mental health services 2021-2022.
  2. Prevalence from NHS Digital (2017); 2017 Mental Health of Children and Young People in England Population from Office for National Statistics (2019); Estimates of the population for the UK mid-2018



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