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World Mental Health Day: Leeds' wellbeing advice website hits 80,000 visitors

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When developers, health bosses and patients helped to get the website off the ground two years ago, they hoped it could provide an outlet for support when it comes to mental health.

But what started as a website has now become a digital lifeline to thousands of people seeking advice on mental health issues in Leeds.

Since launching in 2016, the first resource of its kind, MindWell (www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk) is now on target to reach a total of 100,000 visits by the end of the year.

Aimed at people over 16, almost 80,000 logged on seeking help with mental health between October 10, 2016 and September 9 this year.

It takes users through information on common mental health problems such as anxiety, low moods and stress, as well as offering self-help resources such as animations, downloadable worksheets and online coping strategies.

To mark World Mental Health Day, the MindWell team is today running its first MindWell Student Roadshow, where people associated with the resource will be visiting college and university campuses across the city, in a bid to encourage more young people to access the support.

‘Tell a mate’ about Leeds’ mental health advice website

The roadshow will stop at the University of Leeds, Leeds Trinity University, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Arts University, College of Music, College of Building and Leeds City College throughout the day.

Charlotte Duffy, safeguarding officer at the College of Building, praised the website and its support within the construction industry, which has one of the highest rates of suicide.

She said: “I work with students every day who are facing struggles and are worried about asking for support around their mental health.

“The majority of referrals we receive come from students aged 17 years and over. MindWell is really useful for signposting students to a range of different services across the city.”

At Leeds Beckett, all staff and students now have the MindWell logo on the back of ID cards, in an effort to raise awareness of the resource.

Sarah Tomlinson, head of student wellbeing at the university, said demand for student support had increased “exponentially” in recent years.

She said: “MindWell is my go-to resource for information about mental health and help available. I think the website has a ‘non-medical’ feel and isn’t too prescriptive – for example, I like the bereavement information because it presents a couple of different models which I’ve looked at with students to help them make sense of how they’re feeling.

“Demand for student support has risen exponentially – it’s great having MindWell as a trustworthy and comprehensive resource that we can access easily and quickly.”

During the roadshows today, MindWell staff will be speaking to students – and staff – about the resources available on the website. They will also be promoting coping strategies and positive self-care through activities.

Visit www.mindwell-leeds.org.uk to access mental health-related support for over 16s. For those aged under 18, help is available at www.mindmate.org.uk