Young people and mental health in Islington


Can digital technology help young people to access appropriate mental health care?

Islington CCG is working with partners to introduce trusted Apps into the young person mental health care infrastructure. They have been using the NHS apps library and building digital champions across 35 local, youth centred, organisations.

The pathfinder engaged people across the care professions to understand the best ways for them to introduce digital health resources to young people. The pathfinder provided evidence to show that:

  • Digital health resources can enable care practitioners (teachers, social workers, police, youth workers) to provide early intervention mental health support

  • Care practitioners need to understand how to quickly refer young people to the right kind of mental health support if necessary

  • Mental health support delivered through a personal smartphone allows 24 hour access with high levels of privacy

  • Digitising mental health services can start with simple changes that make a big difference: for example, digitising a crisis care plan is incredibly easy, but it makes it much more useful to the people who are likely to need it.

This pathfinder created evidence which changed the commissioning practices in the CCG and accelerated the adoption of digital services.

Find out how to do this in your area and the benefits it can have in the reports below.


People engaged in the Pathfinder


People supported
in depth


Digital Champions Recruited

Explore pathfinder activity in Islington

Pathfinder documents

'How To' Guide

A guide to show how to start this up in your local area. 

Read the guide

Pathfinder Evaluation

A Realist Evaluation of the pathfinder focussing on what works, for whom and in what context. Evaluating the mechanisms of engagement and the change in commissioning.

Read the report

Case Studies

A collection of case studies to review from the pathfinder

Read the write up

Pathfinder Iteration

A write up of the things we've changed through our findings during the first 3 months

Read the write up

Pathfinder report

An evolving document tracking the progress of the Pathfinder

Read the report

Design session 1 – User insights workshop

A write up of our design workshop with young people in Islington. Understanding their journeys and needs

Read the write up

Design Session 2 – Stakeholder engagement workshop

A write up of the second design session where we gathered a variety of local stakeholders to help understand what is on offer and what is missing

Read the write up

Design Workshop 3 - Designing the model

A write up of the third workshop where we used all of our findings and worked with Islington CCG to design a model to trial

Read the write up