RCSI & IADT launch new Youth Mental Health animation series

The animations were informed by research conducted by RCSI and produced by IADT animation students

Written by spunout

A new animation series telling the stories of young people’s experiences of mental health challenges was launched in Dublin today (Thursday May 9th). The series was informed by research conducted by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI), and produced by animation students at the Institute of Art, Design & Technology (IADT). The series is funded by the Health Research Board and is being launched and promoted in collaboration with the Health Service Executive (HSE) and SpunOut.ie (Scroll down to watch all five animations).

What is the series about?

In 2013, RCSI carried out The Mental Health of Young People in Ireland study which found one in two young people will experience significant mental health difficulties by the age of 25, and one in three by age 13. Since responding to early signs of poor mental health is known to be one of the key factors in improving mental health, RCSI decided to run the Youth Mental Health Animation Project to give young people an understanding of their own mental health, and give them the information needed to seek help.

The five part animation series, designed by RCSI alongside the Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT) features voices and stories from young people aged 18 to 21. The young people who contributed their stories were picked from a larger study and interviewed about their experiences and mental health. Each animation is made up of responses from the young people interviewed, but is portrayed as though from the perspective of one person.

The Animations

Each animation in the five part series has a different theme related to experiences which were commonly reported by young people in the study by RCSI. The themes are; anxiety, depression, feeling different, bullied and loneliness.


This animation touches on issues such as:

  • Cognitive, emotional and physical aspects of anxiety
  • Transition periods as times of vulnerability for young people
  • Counselling as a source of support
  • The benefits of help seeking


This animation touches on issues such as:

  • Cognitive, emotional, behavioural, social and physical aspects of depression
  • Parents/guardians as a source of support
  • The importance of being able to make sense of one’s own thoughts and feelings
  • Going through depression takes time but is possible with the right supports and help

Feeling different

This animation touches on issues such as:


This animation touches on issues such as:

  • Negative impact of bullying on young person’s sense of self-worth
  • Teachers as a source of support
  • Importance of meaningful relationships and connections with others


This animation touches on issues such as:

Who are the animations for?

The animations are aimed at young people aged 12 to 25, as well as at parents and educators who have an interest in young people’s mental health. SpunOut.ie have partnered with RCSI, IADT and the HSE to promote the animations to young people across Ireland.

The project aims to give young people an understanding of mental health, as well as being a series of resources young people can relate to. The animations encourage young people to seek help for anything they may be struggling with and aims to make them aware that it is okay not to feel okay.

When will the project launch?

The series launches on Thursday, 9th May 2019. It is available in both English and Irish as a bilingual resource for young people across the country, and there are also subtitled and non-subtitled versions available.

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