An emoji-powered jukebox has been created to help young people talk about how they are feeling.
SeeMe is launching the initiative after new research revealed only around a quarter (26 per cent) of young people aged 12-26 would tell someone if they were struggling to cope, compared to 67 per cent who would tell someone if they were feeling physically unwell.
To use the online jukebox, said to be a world first, young people enter an emoji to represent how they are feeling, and the feelsfm.co.uk site then generates a playlist to match their mood.
If they entered a happy face then they could select from songs like Happy Faces by The Macabees. If they were feeling sad then they could choose a song like No Tears left to Cry by Ariana Grande. It also gives them the option to give their views on what makes it hard for them to share their feelings and can point them to support lines such as Childline and Samaritans depending on their response. See Me, the national programme to end mental health discrimination, hopes the power of music will help people cope.
See Me director Calum Irving said: “Everyone has feelings, everyone has mental health, and most people listen to music. We want to bring this together, so young people can express how they are feeling without worrying about stigma, and get songs to help if they’re struggling.”
Research for SeeMe found almost two thirds (62 per cent) of young people said they think people are treated unfairly if they say they have a mental health condition, and only 31 per cent would tell someone if they had a diagnosis.
However, 72 per cent said they would be able to talk to someone if they thought that person was struggling with their mental health.
Shah Gill, 21 from Paisley, struggled with his mental health when growing up and said music helped him cope.
He said: “When I was in school I was bullied. Often I would struggle with eating habits. I had a lot of insecurities and self-doubt. It wasn’t acknowledged by teachers. It took me a long time to figure out it was an eating disorder.
“It’s hard to explain to others what you’re going through when you don’t understand yourself. I think people saw I was struggling, but didn’t know how to handle it.
“I listen to certain types of music when I feel a certain way. If I’m upset I listen to something emotional or powerful and I’ll listen to lighter music which can help me to stop worrying about things.”