Mental Health Innovations in the West Midlands

To support Mental Health Awareness Week, we have collated a non-exhaustive list of some of the fantastic mental health innovations in the West Midlands. Check them out below.


The GRiST project is a collaboration between Computer Science, Aston University, and the Health Sciences Research Institute, University of Warwick. GRiST is a web-based application that reconnects us within a caring and supportive network using advice from thousands of mental-health experts. The goal is to reduce risks such as suicide and violence, improve wellbeing, and help us live safely in the community. Read more here.

My Internal World

My Internal World offers tools and strategies for emotional health developed by expert coaches. Their unique emotional wellbeing assessment will provide you with detailed personal insights, along with guidance and support in figuring out your next steps.

They have taken down the paywall for those who need support with their emotional health throughout the COVID-19 crisis, so you can use their website to help support your emotional health for free until 21st June. Read more here.

Mindful Healthcare

Mindful provides affordable online access to world class treatment for young people with mental health issues. They work with their families, teachers and GPs to help them recover much more quickly than they would do with the current services on offer. Mindful uses technology to provide comprehensive, integrated recovery programmes directly to those in need – all delivered through an affordable, on-line service. Mindful’s new and unique approach treats, educates and builds resilience in young people, helping them change, recover and become stronger as quickly as possible. 

Mindful Healthcare recognise the anxiety, stress and panic induced by the current coronavirus crisis, especially for key workers. This is why our services extends to offer support for NHS workers, and other members of staff on the front line.

Read more here.

Forward Thinking Birmingham

Forward Thinking Birmingham is the city’s mental health partnership for 0-25 year olds. During these times, their team is here providing easily accessible mental health support for our children and young people. These services are provided to offer emotional support, guidance and reassurance to young people in Birmingham who may find the current COVID-19 situation overwhelming.

Think4Brum gives an opportunity to get directly involved in Forward Thinking Birmingham, helping them to shape the design and delivery of their services. Read here about the diversity and inclusion lead for the mental health youth board, Sophia Badhan, who won this year’s top award of Mental Health Superstar at the WMCA’s Thrive awards for working tirelessly to tackle the stigma surrounding mental health.

With Think4Brum, Sophia has led the development of a Self-Isolation Survival Guide, which offers lots of practical advice and tips to help young people with pre-existing mental health conditions to stay positive during the COVID-19 lockdown. To mark Mental Health Awareness Week, Sophia has recorded a series of video messages to help other people who are experiencing mental health issues during the lockdown.


Kooth is a new free, digital counselling service to support young people’s emotional and mental health in Birmingham. Kooth gives children and young people (11-25) the opportunity to access online counselling from qualified counsellors and Emotional Well-being Practitioner. Kooth is linked to the wider mental health support from Forward Thinking Birmingham and offers:

  1. Online mental health counselling and chat services
  2. Peer to peer support through moderated discussion forums
  3. Self-care tools and resources to build resilience
  4. Early response to and identification of emotional wellbeing and metal health problems
  5. There are no waiting lists, referrals or thresholds to access the service

Find out more about Kooth here.

Thrive At Home

“As a nation we need to come together, support one another and be kind. We can only support one another if we, ourselves are in a strong enough position to do so. These next few months or so will be testing. They will test our resilience, our patience and our adaptability to new ways of working and living.” – Mayor of West Midlands, Andy Street

West Midlands Combined Authority have adapted their Thrive At Work Campaign to ‘Thrive At Home’,  supporting employers and homeworkers to manage their own health and wellbeing. The Thrive at Home toolkit sets out some key guidance and links to online resources and support that all employees can access online. It’s still really important that employers continue to communicate and work with all employees to help them identify what will encourage them to remain healthy while working from home.

Read more here.