The first National Young People’s Mental Health Advisory Group was established in January 2014 by the Clinical Research Network: Mental Health.
The Group is made up of fourteen 16-24 year olds, all with experience of mental health issues or having supported someone who has. Members come from across England and have a wide range of experiences and interests. Meetings are held once every six weeks in London.
The Group invites two researchers or research teams to each of its meetings in order to discuss specific studies and provide advice and support.
For further information or if you would like to gain feedback on your study from the group please contact Sara Simblett on 020 7848 0762 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Group is also connected to a number of projects such as the ‘Depression: Asking the right questions’, a priority setting exercise supported by the charity MQ Transforming Mental Health. As well as a Department of Health initiative to collect up to date national statistics on the prevalence of mental health issues amongst young people in the UK.
Some of our members have written case studies of their experiences of working with the Group. Each of these documents can be viewed as a PDF.
“I’ve had personal experiences of mental health myself as well as seeing my friends and family go through similar situations. It’s really important to recognise it more. I don’t think it’s as recognised as much as physical health. There needs to be changes made with the mental health system and I’m very keen to push this forward and be a part of that.”
“Being part of the Young Peoples Advisory Group has definitely made me more aware of different mental health issues and how these can be dealt with. But it’s more than that I feel like it’s enabled me to develop personally and I’m much more confident now. I couldn’t believe how much more work there really needs to be done to make mental health research and services more effective.”
“My family have definitely seen that being part of this group and our activities has changed me in a very positive way. And I’m very passionate about it all now. My interest in mental health research just keeps growing and growing.”
“I chose to get involved because I’m currently training to become a mental health nurse, so I’ve always had a keen interest in the subject. Also some of my family
members have suffered from mental health illnesses in the past so I have personal experience of what that’s like and how difficult a situation it can be.”
“One of the key activities for the group is to talk to researchers about their proposals when doing different types of research into various types of mental health illnesses. We give them feedback about what we think of their proposal and whether it’s done in a youth friendly manner, so that it’s easier for young people to understand.”
“I’ve learned of the complexities surrounding research methodology and been involved with the early stages of some exciting new research proposals.”
“I’ve found being a part of the young person’s group to be really interesting and I’ve learnt a lot about mental health. I’ve enjoyed feeding into the research process and hearing about new research projects.
“I also enjoy being in a non-judgemental environment where other people completely understand your situation or feelings without having to be told..”
“It is quite empowering to be put in a position where researchers listen to you and to use your own experiences to be part of something that will benefit young people in the future.
“The group has opened my eyes to the opportunities out there to get involved in research. Mental health is a part of my life and it is reassuring to know that
there are places that allow me to use my experiences to help others.”
Nuffield Council on Bioethics report