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Enhancing data-driven decision making to support adolescent mental health

Enabling an evidence-based approach
for the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity mental health programme for young people

Our collaborative project with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity focuses on understanding better the complex issue of adolescent mental health through innovative technical solutions to improve the mental health of children and young people.
Adolescent mental health is a major health issue in the UK, with one in eight children and young people experiencing a diagnosed condition.
An initial investigation suggested that behavioural disorders may be more prevalent than the available data indicated, Trilateral has therefore worked to enhance the data analysis capabilities of the Charity to gain insights otherwise overlooked within the wider data landscape. This will lead to robust evidence-based decision-making for the Charity to develop its ten-year urban health programme and ensure that resources are spent on initiatives that have the potential to drive lasting change.

New insights on supporting adolescent mental health

This project adopted a place-based approach to urban health and has improved the Charity’s understanding of how the local environment – such as the social context and economic factors – affects the mental health of young people.
We explored evidence that risk factors associated with living in inner cities can amplify the risk of poor mental health, and that living in a household on a low income can be associated with higher rates of mental disorder in children.

Trilateral’s solutions addressed, among others, the challenge of insufficient data on adolescent mental health which limits our ability to identify trends and see the whole picture. The solutions analyse crime, socio-economic indicators and adolescent mental health with real-time data to help the Charity to drill into the data via pattern recognition and geo-spatial intelligence.

New insights on supporting adolescent mental health

This project adopted a place-based approach to urban health and has improved the Charity’s understanding of how the local environment – such as the social context and economic factors – affects the mental health of young people.
We explored evidence that risk factors associated with living in inner cities can amplify the risk of poor mental health, and that living in a household on a low income can be associated with higher rates of mental disorder in children.

Trilateral’s solutions addressed, among others, the challenge of insufficient data on adolescent mental health which limits our ability to identify trends and see the whole picture. The solutions analyse crime, socio-economic indicators and adolescent mental health with real-time data to help the Charity to drill into the data via pattern recognition and geo-spatial intelligence.

Benefits

By adopting Trilateral’s socio-technical approach in this project, we have enabled better data analysis and the identification of clear patterns to pinpoint where the organisation should target its resources in the development of the health programme. The use of real-time data has helped to identify communities with changing levels of crime, which when combined with socioeconomic geospatial data and large national surveys on mental health, provides an informed picture of areas most in need of support in Lambeth and Southwark to address adolescent mental health issues.

Trilateral’s approach has positively impacted the project on different levels. The interactive predictive tool will provide real-time data on crime and adolescent mental health issues on the ground in the Lambeth and Southwark boroughs and can help to identify communities most at risk.
The insights gained from the interactive models based on enriched datasets generates new knowledge on mental health issues of young people.
The better understanding of the factors and correlations that play a role in mental health support for children and young people will enable the Charity to make evidence-based decisions about its next ten-year urban health programme and commission projects that drive lasting change and improve the life chances of younger generations in the local neighbourhoods and beyond.

Our approach

Trilateral’s expertise in data protection and our ethical approach in data-driven innovation has been integrated within our technological development so as to interrogate all aspects of the work from an ethical and legal perspective, preventing any bias and achieving full transparency in the solutions.
Our work has focused on three key areas:

An interactive crime data visualisation dashboard hosted on Amazon Web Services
 
which takes crime data from the open source Police Crime API and visualises it in granular detail, with temporal, geospatial, crime type and outcome data visualisation tools.
Scenarios for the prevalence of adolescent mental health
 
which deploys cloud-based architecture via Amazon Web Services to build a scenario exploring how the ethnic profile of Lambeth and Southwark may lead to under-reporting of mental health issues.
Predictive machine learning models of crime and adolescent mental health
 
which uses a machine learning model that predicts the crime levels across the boroughs based on local socio-economic variables that can be dynamically explored.

What our client says

“The team at Trilateral was very good at explaining the technical side of the project in plain English. The team was responsive to feedback and helped tailor the dashboards to meet our requirements.
We value Trilateral’s use of techniques from both social science and technology and the way these are combined to gather the richest insights. Also Trilateral’s ability to blend data science with software development, something that opens the door for new and exciting research opportunities.”
Robert Parker, Head of Data and Analytics at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity

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