Since the spring of 2020, when the country was placed in a national lockdown, young people have faced many of hurdles.

Being bored, isolated, feeling uncertain and seeking the right help are those from research undertaken came out on top. Young people up and down the U.K and Northern Ireland have come together and joined the Co-Ray project to help create material relatable for other young people to help them through difficult times through the use of media and journalism.

Headliners (UK) and the Co-Ray project are delighted to be able to share Caitlyn's story.

‘Turning my darkest of times into my best of times’ is the title of one of our young people’s photography exhibition. Come take a look through the eyes of Caitlyn, aged 14 and see what hurdles she faced and how putting in place the helpful step by step guide collaborated by the CoRAY team which helped her overcome Boredom and low motivation’.

Visit Caitlyn's exhibition here

Photos: Courtesy of Caitlyn

The CoRAY project is working to produce evidence-informed resources, to support the mental health and wellbeing of young people aged 11-16 during the pandemic, and beyond. The project, based at the University of Oxford, is run in partnership with Fully Focused Productions, Headliners (UK), BBC Bitesize, Young Minds, Centre for Mental Health, University of Reading, the McPin Foundation, Swansea University and the Triumph network.

This work is being led by the UKRI Emerging Minds Networks, and supported by the wider Mental Health Networks, working with Headliners (UK) and Fully Focused as delivery partners from across disciplines, across sectors, and with people with lived experience to:

  • draw together evidence on the mental health and wellbeing impacts of the pandemic on young people,
  • identify priority areas where resources are needed,
  • enable young people to develop resources that will be engaging and accessible to young people, and
  • disseminate the outputs widely.

We are very grateful to the Medical Research Council and the Westminster Foundation for funding this work.