Young people from across Gwent have taken part in research to share their thoughts and experiences of mental health services in the area to help improve them.
Getting young people involved
10 young people from Blaenau-Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport, and Torfaen were recruited to become Peer Researchers for the Mind our Future Gwent (MoFG) project.
The MoFG project follows a Service Design process, a methodology to create better services. The Service Design process has four phases – Discover, Define, Develop and Deliver.
The Peer Researchers, aged 16-24, joined the project in the first phase – Discover.
Researching mental health services in Gwent
After receiving training about speaking to other young people, mental health, and research methods, the Peer Researchers set out to ask their peers about mental health services in Gwent. They led interviews and focus groups and shared an online survey.
203 young people, aged 11-27, from across Gwent participated in the research.
Once the data was collected, the Peer Researchers analysed all the data by picking out key themes from the research. This process helped to establish the key findings, which resulted in 7 key insights.
The 7 key insights highlight the main things that were discovered by the research. They were:
1 -Staff need to be trustworthy, understanding and friendly whilst maintaining professionalism
2 – Services need to be flexible and accessible to all
3 – Young people lack knowledge about the mental health services available to them in Gwent
4 – Young people need consistency, especially when transitioning within and between services
5 – Negative experiences of services act as a barrier to young people seeking and accessing support
6 – Fear of stigma impacts a young person’s willingness to reach out for support
7 – Young people need to get the right support at the right time
Each insight is explained in more detail in the Discovery Report, which can be read for free online!
What happens next?
The Peer Researchers are working with the ProMo Cymru and Newport Mind staff to further define the insights.
During the Develop phase, which starts in 2024, the Peer Researchers will come up with ideas for tackling some of the issues the report highlighted.
The aim is to develop these ideas further so that young people in Gwent have better experiences with mental health services and are able to get the right help at the right time.
If you’re a young person in Gwent who wants to get involved in the project, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org.