Cara’s Blog

Armed Forces children and young people invited to get involved to co-produce mental health and wellbeing digital platform 

Your Mind Matters has officially launched! This means we are raising awareness and inviting children and young people from service personnel and veteran families across Scotland to get involved with Royal Caledonian Education Trust (RCET) to co-produce a bespoke digital platform. Cara Pleym, RCET Digital Participation Worker, is responsible for managing the development of the digital platform, who shares her thoughts about getting started. 

“I am so excited to launch Your Mind Matters and to get started bringing Armed Forces young people in from the very beginning, to learn from their lived experience and to share knowledge, ideas and thoughts about what this bespoke new platform should be. I am grateful to the Armed Forces Covenant Fund for providing the funding for such a vital piece of work. As the theme of Children’s Mental Health Week is ‘Express Yourself’ I want to encourage Armed Forces young people, from across Scotland, to share their ideas with me, in any form and to join our early project discussions to shape the processes, services and outcomes. 

“In preparation for the Launch stage, we have started shaping the project vision with Armed Forces young people and I was blown away by the depth of engagement and insight they provided in a very short time, within a small group. I look forward to sharing this vision work just as soon as we all feel that the vision statement captures the heart of this project and truly reflects the young people’s views. This group is actively seeking new members so please do get in touch if you are or you know an Armed Forces young person who would like to join our project sessions! 

“I also want to share my personal vision for the project to express myself with clarity and with purpose, to help start those conversations and maybe even spark an idea. When you’re given a blank page to begin, developing a digital platform seems both a thrilling and slightly intimidating task! For me, a digital platform is not defined by the technology but how we use it. I studied entrepreneurship for a long time and so often, we build with one intention, only to realise the community we are building for want something else. 

“What I want to do, is to practice co-production at every level, to build and design for those desire paths, to create a technology which is centred around how young people will use it, both now and in the future with one eye always on sustainability for the long-term. The Scottish Approach to Service Design is also very helpful in guiding this process and by treating our young people as citizens, with knowledge and expertise in their own right, we can include them from day one of development and design with them a service which is people centred.” 

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