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Open Access Young people and an NHS participation worker reflect on their involvement in a creative, collaborative mental health research project

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Most UK child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) support young people up to the age of 17/18, at which point they are discharged, or transition to an adult service. This transition is often difficult for young people, as they also face the complex physical and psychosocial changes of adolescence. Transition from CAMHS is often poorly managed, with negative outcomes for young people. Improved preparation may improve both outcomes and experience. We worked with 17 young people and staff from three NHS mental health foundation trusts to co-produce the CAMHS Transition Preparation Programme (TPP), deliverable in routine NHS settings. We took a creative, participatory approach to maximize young people's involvement in the research. Young people steered the direction of the work, and were involved in decision-making and dissemination both nationally and within their trusts. In this commentary, two young participant–researchers and one NHS staff member describe the project from their perspectives.

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Keywords: CAMHS; CREATIVE; INVOLVEMENT; PARTICIPATION; PREPARATION; TRANSITION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 July 2017

More about this publication?
  • Engagement with research goes further than participation in it. Engaged individuals and communities initiate research, advise, challenge or collaborate with researchers. Their involvement is always active and they have a crucial influence on the conduct of the research.

    Research for All is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on research that involves universities and communities, services or industries working together. Contributors and readers are from both inside and outside of higher education. They include researchers, policymakers, managers, practitioners, community-based organizations, schools, businesses and the intermediaries who bring these people together. The journal highlights the potential in active public engagement for robust academic study, for the development of involved communities, and for the impact of research. It explores engagement with different groups and their cultures, and features theoretical and empirical analysis alongside authoritative commentary to explore a range of themes that are key to engaged research including the development of reciprocal relationships, sector-specific communication and participatory action research. The journal is co-sponsored by the UCL Institute of Education and the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement.

    The journal welcomes relevant articles. See the publication homepage for details, or contact [email protected]

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