BESTIE has been developed by clinicians at Health and Care Worcestershire NHS Trust in collaboration with young people and IT designers. We have worked hard to create a safe online space, which supports young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. Clicking on the ‘BESTIE features’ button on the homepage will show you how BESTIE works and what young people, families and professionals can expect to see in the app. The information contained in BESTIE is age-rated, so that if a child of 10 years old downloads the app, they will only see information which we deem to be suitable for their age group. We encourage parents, carers and professionals to download the app, partly to use it themselves (there are some helpful resources you might like) but also to feel comfortable with BESTIE if they are giving their children permission to download it. Apps should require parental/carer consent to download for all young people below 13 years of age. In the app, we welcome feedback from all users and are always looking to improve content, so do feel free to let us know what you think.
Children, young people and families who are engaged in work with Worcestershire CAMHS will soon have additional functions as part of BESTIE (including ways of tracking their goals and mood) which are due for release in 2020.
The BESTIE Story
The BESTIE story…
The idea to create an online world to help young people manage their mental health came from a group of young people in Worcestershire. They wanted health professionals to use technology better and to understand the online world. Helpfully, the NHS decided to put some money into using digital tech better. They called it the Global Digital Exemplar (because the NHS likes important sounding names). The NHS knew that by using tech better, it could help to keep people healthy and to make sure that if they needed help, it could be the best help possible. This money helped to fund a project where young people could lead a team of mental health professionals and tech people, helping them to understand what young people need… The mental health professionals listened, understood and helped to include things that would support young people’s emotions. The tech people listened, understood and helped to bring the ideas to life. The team met after school (because taking time out of school isn’t always easy) in places designed for young people (because who wants to meet up in hospitals?) and ate pizza (because this helped their creativity). Each time new ideas were born, the whole team looked at them carefully and decided which ones would be used. One day, the team decided that their creation needed a name. A competition was held and the young people voted for their favourite: BESTIE.
In July 2019, BESTIE won the MidTECH Award for Best NHS-Developed Innovation at the annual Meridian Celebration of Innovation Awards. Click here to read more
BESTIE is an exciting, interactive online platform, designed to help young people to find out more about emotional wellbeing and mental health and to get the right help when they need it. BESTIE's virtual, interactive world combines digital media, instant messaging, built-in games and supportive online help and information, all within an anonymous, safe platform. BESTIE was created by a team of young people (with a little help from NHS mental health professionals from Worcestershire Health and Care Trust and online tech folk). BESTIE encourages users to engage in social, physical and health-related activities. Check out BESTIE’s features and find out where to sign up below.
This is the BESTIE menu. From here, users can access all features within the app.
Create and personalise your own My Bestie character.
Dress and Wardrobe
Browse different clothing items and dress your My Bestie.
Decorate and furnish your own personal space to suit your style.
Browse through resources on a range of topics. When you find the ones you like best, you can save them to your personal space! Information is updated regularly, so keep checking for new stuff. For young people in Worcestershire, we have loads of information about CAMHS (which stands for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) including VR walkarounds of all of our buildings, so you can see what it’s like to come and visit us.
Play games when you’re in need of distraction (or just want some fun!). New games will be uploaded, so keep checking here for more details. Find new ways of getting out of the house and into the world with our activity games.
For young people who are accessing Worcestershire CAMHS, the following additional features are available. Ask your clinician for more info…
Social & Groups
Engage in groups in an online environment.
Tracking how I am
Track your emotions and goals using your own character!
Our BESTIE diaries can help you to keep track of things going on in your life and can help to remind you of things you’ve been working on in CAMHS (including giving yourself rewards!).