DigiTalk Project

Youth Access is leading an exciting new one year programme of work, DigiTalk funded by Health Education England’s Innovations Fund. The DigiTalk Project aims to develop Youth Information, Advice and Counselling Services’ (YIACS) capacity to providing innovative and integrated online mental health support to young people. 

Our proposals are intended to lead to extended access and choice in mental health help and support for young people by enabling local YIACS from across the country to collaborate in the development of a new digital offer.

The DigiTalk Project is supporting 15 to 16 local YIACS to work together to meet organisational development needs and challenges and to build managers’ and individual practitioners’ capacity to provide a high quality digital offer based on best evidence.

This funding is supporting:

  • National workshops for the managers of the YIACS involved in the project. These events will focus on a range of policy and implementation issues connected to digital technologies.
  • Training for counsellors and supervisors in providing online counselling and supervision. This training will be from an external training provider for the participating YIACS.
  • Production of an e-learning package for young people taking up online roles e.g. peer support 

Youth Access is working closely with Off the Record Croydon in the roll out of the Project. As part of our collaboration we are also offering the participating YIACS the opportunity to build on Off the Record Croydon’s current investment in a new platform. This development will enable the offer of a highly cost effective integrated online counselling and webinar site that can be white-labelled for other providers. Local agencies will need to purchase the site separately, but will have some support from the Project to aid its implementation.

Youth Access is also exploring how the DigiTalk Project can link to other digital media initiatives for young people’s mental health.