'Be Heard' to #BeSeen

‘Be Heard’ was a space in the ADP for young people affected by mental health issues either personally, or through family/friends, to express their thoughts and views on the use of multiple types of data for mental health research and to learn about the work of the ADP.

As part of this project, ‘Be Heard’ was developed into it’s partner #BeSeen.

About #BeSeen

Our ongoing engagement work has highlighted the rapidity of change in the way young people communicate online. Once popular chat forums have been replaced by social networking image-based platforms. Image based social media platforms such as Instagram, Tumblr and TikTok have become increasingly popular in part because they centre around image and video sharing. Instagram is reported to be an important part of the daily lives of 44% of adolescents. The increasing popularity of image-based platforms has brought an increasing pressure on young people to ‘be seen’ in a particular way.

We Explain

The change in how young people communicate has resulted in them feeling keen to share their stories, which they now do predominantly through imagery, photography, and videos.

Simultaneously, rapid linkage of information from a wide range of sources, such as health to social media, has resulted in hope for a new era of research into young people’s mental health.

This project brought young people together with professionals from arts, data science and medicine to develop ‘Be Seen’. A series of workshops were held with young people aged 16-24 years, specifically including those with experience of mental health problems, who have self-harmed. Trans people, and Refugee and Asylum seekers. These workshops enabled young people to be more analytical about their own creative stories.

Issues such as ownership of images, their feelings about the use of their data, often created as they go about their daily lives, for research and the tension between the intent behind a post and it’s interpretation by those viewing it were discussed. They explored alternatives to photography including creative spaces in virtual reality.

Our vision is for young people’s voices to ‘Be Seen’ and influence the use of their data and public conversation surrounding their use of images to express mental health.


Become A BeSeen Blogger


The BeSeen PhotoBlog gives young people the opportunity to share their images/creations to support others who could be experiencing difficulty with their mental health.

Writing for us

We welcome anyone aged between 16-24, and living in the UK to write for us. To become a #BeSeen photoblogger please email us at contact@adolescentmentalhealth.uk.

Topics covered

We are interested in a range of different topics reflected in images and relating to young people’s mental health. These can range from sharing your own artwork, or a photo you took that relates to you in some way, or you feel can also relate to others. You are welcome to write a few lines explaining what that image means to you.

You Ask, You Direct

Do you have a question you would like to ask us? Do you have a research question that you want us to look into? Use the form below to get in touch.

Funded by

UKRI Medical Research Council