The Mind Space™ app provides parents of children with autism, free, easy, quick and discreet access to general mental health information, emotional wellbeing support and advice about autism

(Pitched: 15/04/2018)

One Page Summary

Which need/challenge are you addressing with your solution?

• The Mind Space app will enable more parents of children with autism to be able to access information and emotional wellbeing support for themselves. Carers Trust Heart of England can only provide support to 11% of parents now.

• The content of the app will support parents come to terms with their child’s diagnosis of Autism and validate their feelings of anger, denial, disbelief, guilt, self-blame and hopelessness in a caring way and equipping them with strategies to move forward in a positive way.

• The app will provide practical information such as how the school can support, changes to make at home and how parents can cope with their feelings. 

How your solution aims to satisfy that need in practical terms?

  • The Mind Space app will be accessible to parents at their own convenience, at their own comfort and privacy.
  • Parents will be able to access information such as ‘what to do in a crisis’ very easily.
  • The app will include image content, this is to ensure that the app is accessible to all parents, including those with learning disabilities and those who have different learning styles
  • Initially we will launch the app using IOS or Android. The decision of which to launch first will be gained from parents.

What are the implications of implementing your solution? 

The implications of our solution revolve around ensuring the content of the app is applicable to mothers and fathers.

The services we provide are different because our delivery team are made up of Psychologists. This means that we are trained at doctorial level and are specialists within the field of emotional and mental health. We have skills and knowledge to work with parents and young people with autism and/or mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.

Our model is based on using highly qualified professionals to deliver early intervention approaches therefore we equip people with evidence based techniques (i.e. cognitive behaviour therapy) sooner rather than later which sets us apart from others. This prevents the emotional wellbeing problems getting worse and offers an immediate solution and referral pathway. We are not aware of any competitors who offer this clinical and research approach. 

The solution has been already tested and deployed in another context (geographical or sectorial)? If so, what are the strengths and weaknesses you identify that could help you in scaling it into a new context? 

We currently work in schools to support young people, teachers and parents mental health. This solution has already been tested and deployed in a physical context, in schools and the general community within London and the West Midlands. We are now looking to turn this same solution into an app.

Innovating Minds has also supported the development of the distrACT app. This app provides free, easy, quick and discreet access to general mental health information and advice about self harm for young people. This experience has equipped our team with the knowledge and skills around the technology and creating content for the app. This experience also reinforced the importance of having a board of advisors and service user group to ensure the app contains relevant information and meets the needs of the people who are accessing the app.

We work across Coventry and Warwickshire to provide young people age 15-24 year olds support to successfully transition into further training or employment. This work has involved our team working with parents who have children with autism and liaising with a partnership of 15 local organisations such as Mencap Heart of England and Coventry City Council.

We are working with the charity ‘Centre for ADHD and Autism’ in London. They reached out to us to discuss how we can support their parents who have children with Autism and ADHD. We will be delivering workshops to the parents.

Our social impact report demonstrates the positive impact Innovating Minds, report can be found at:

Our solution has been proven to work within a community and educational setting however the delivery has been based on face to face contact with the service users. In order to scale our services we are aware that we need to digitalise aspects of our work to ensure we can reach more people and continue to create value for money services. Therefore, this platform provides us with the opportunity to work with a like-minded organisation and develop an app that meets the needs of parents. The services that we provide such as information sharing, training, sign positing and therapy are transferable into this setting, however the challenge will be based on an creating an online therapeutic space that feels safe to use and explore without feeling judged.

We feel that we are best placed to be offer a solution to the social challenge Carers Trust Heart of England are facing.