For Mental Health Awareness Week 2016, taking place 16 - 22 May, FACT is shining a light on the success of the mental wellbeing app In Hand. Created by young people, for young people to provide support in moments of low mood and promote mental health awareness, the app has now had more than 10,000 downloads from people in 30 countries since its launch in 2014.

The theme for Mental Health Awareness Week 2016 is relationships, as healthy and supportive relationships are key to good mental health. The campaign celebrates the people and connections in our lives that add to our wellbeing and help us thrive, which is the kind of inspiration In Hand aims to provide by acting as a simple, digital ‘friend’ that offers support to young people through difficult times.

Laura Haddick, Young People & Learning Coordinator at FACT, says: “'We've built an exciting digital community around In Hand, with over 10,000 downloads all over the world. It's fantastic that we've had such a positive response and that the app is continuing to support people day-to-day. There's also been some great feedback about the new illustrations and quotes we recently added; those digital high fives are really giving people a boost!”

In Hand asks its users to assess how they feel, and then suggests different activities, such as talking to someone, reading inspirational quotes or taking pictures, to improve their mood. A report shows that the app generally helps its users to feel less stressed, giving them a more positive outlook, and has received impressively high user ratings.

In Hand was created by a group of 16-25 year olds who worked together with developers, designers and mental health professionals for nearly a year. The project was developed in response to growing concerns over mental health problems among under-18s, with one in ten now thought to be living with a diagnosable condition in the UK.

In Hand was funded by Comic Relief and created by FACT with partners Mersey Care NHS Trust and Red Ninja Studios. The app was nominated for the Mersey Care NHS Trust’s Positive Achievement Award 2014.

Also highlighting the importance of relationships and mental wellbeing is artist and theatre director Mark Storor’s new pop-up exhibition The Simplicity of Truth, showcased in the FACT Connects space from 12 May - 12 June. Located in the foyer at FACT, the exhibition creates an intimate reimagining of masculinity and combines still and moving images with live performance developed and enacted by local men through a series of workshops. The show includes both newly produced elements and previously unseen material from Storor’s celebrated 2015 work The Barometer of My Heart.

The Simplicity of Truth is created by Mark Storor in collaboration with members of FACT’s Veterans in Practice programme, Everton in The Community, photographer Stephen King, filmmaker Chris Keenan, animator Babis Alexiadis, and with local men.

Download In Hand now from the App and Google Play stores, and visit our current exhibition The Simplicity of Truth, open daily 11am - 6pm until 12 June.