Kingsmeadow Community School
"We have chosen to try and tackle the rising problem of mental health. We have chosen this issue because in the Uk around 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year. 1 in 6 people report suffering from a common mental health problem such as depression and anxiety each week. The number of people who self harm and commit suicide has increased in recent years."
"Our big idea is a service to assist the UK’s mental health services when working with young children. Consultations with professionals can cause children to become nervous making diagnosis more difficult so our big idea is using dogs during consultations to calm the nerves of young children. We would also use dogs as therapy for children suffering with mental health and wellbeing. Studies have shown that just so much as playing with a puppy raises your levels of oxytocin and lower your levels of cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone. The dogs would have a recording device in their collar which would be then played back to the psychologist who would then be able to prescribe the right medication and then come up with a diagnosis to further help the young person."
"Our big idea could revolutionise the way mental health consultations work in the NHS for young children by making them more comfortable talking to professionals in the service. It could also benefit the dogs as they will become trained as service dogs. We are aiming to be ‘Barking For a Better Future.’"