Real Stories

Tackling isolation online

When you’re struggling with your mental health it can be easy to imagine you’re alone. NHS Leeds CCG asked us to find a way of tackling this isolation online. We created content and a video platform that shares stories of young people experiencing mental health issues, which also allows them to explore a range of topics in detail and at their own pace.

NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group has a vision to transform the mental health of children and young people (CYP) in the city of Leeds. As part of this, we have created award-winning brand/website MindMate (MindMate.org.uk), which provides a friendly, accessible and recognisable face of mental health services for CYP in Leeds. We have continued to develop MindMate for several years, using digital channels to help young people access support for mental health issues without stigma.

Connecting young people with similar stories

One of our key objectives is to help normalise mental health. We recommended that the introduction of lived experience content would help us work towards making that happen.

Filming the stories of young people who have experienced mental health difficulties could help young people connect with others who have been through similar experiences. We also suggested that rather than simply produce static video content, we create an interactive platform that would allow users to actively engage with the video content, digging into content whilst still watching the videos, to encourage engagement.


The Real Stories project launched in late 2017 and is being promoted through the client’s owned channels, including social media, newsletters and, crucially, direct to young people via GP, School Nurses, and other healthcare professionals.

It has already had fantastic feedback from young people, as well as the client and has just been nominated for a Roses Creative Award 2018.

Dr Jane Mischenko, Lead Strategic Commissioner: Children & Maternity Care for the NHS Leeds CCG, said:

“In Leeds we recognise the importance of directly involving young people in creating resources to make sure they strike the right chord and are relevant to them. I’m really proud of the MindMate website and the Real Stories project is a great new component that I hope will show young people that they’re not alone”