Our commitment to co-production

Our young people’s programmes, Bloom and Your Resilience have always been run with the mindset that young people’s voices and experiences need to be at the forefront in developing and delivering our workshops.

 

Both programmes are aimed at 14–18-year-olds as we know this period in a young person’s life is often a time of important transition and change – a time when mental health can be impacted. By providing young people with a supportive preventative intervention at this stage, we seek to equip them with a diverse range of coping strategies and solutions and increase their ability to adapt and remain resilient during uncertainty and change.

"I liked hearing about other young people’s experiences it made me feel more confident with talking about my own."

– Young person

“I’ve learned new things about people, what we have in common and our different feelings. It’s really opened my eyes to other people’s feelings and opinions."

– Young person

Our co-production journey

Recently, we have embarked on a new initiative to increase young people’s involvement in our programmes through co-production.

Our ambition is to not only consult with young people about what they need from our programmes but to include them in decision-making from start to finish. This level of collaboration and co-decision making will run through all four charities across the UK: Mental Health UK in England, MindWise in Northern Ireland, Change Mental Health in Scotland and Adferiad in Wales.

"While our programmes offer universal support, we are also committed to reaching those young people who may face more barriers in accessing mental health support - often for reasons beyond their control. No one knows better than a young person who has faced such barriers how they’d like to be supported and we are looking forward to having meaningful discussions with young people across the UK to learn more about their experiences and hear their ideas.”

– Charlotte Baldwin, Bloom Manager, England

We will begin by using a co-production approach to inform and enhance our knowledge of the needs of diverse and underserved young people in our 5 priority groups below. Young people within those groups are at higher risk of experiencing poor mental health due to a range of social determinants such as poverty, exclusion from school, and living within areas of high deprivation.

These groups are:

  • Community Priority Area 1: Young People living in areas of deprivation
  • Community Priority Area 2: Young People from ethnic minority backgrounds
  • Community Priority Area 3: Young People in rurally isolated communities
  • Education Priority Area 1: Young People accessing education, but who may be at risk of poor mental health
  • Education Priority Area 2: Young People with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

In the first phase, the findings from this work will be used to inform and adapt the delivery of our existing programme in our 5 priority communities. To gain maximum insight and learnings we will be supported in this first phase by our research partner, Making Impact Matter.

"At Making Impact Matter, we are deeply committed to the co-production ethos, valuing every voice in the dialogue around children’s mental health. Working alongside MHUK, we are striving to create spaces where lived experiences are not just heard but are instrumental in shaping services and we're looking forward to working together with young people to support community inclusion and collective empowerment.”

– Rachael Murray Higgins, Director, Making Impact Matter

At the heart of our co-production work is our pledge to young people:

  • Respect: We will respect your opinions ideas and experiences. We recognise that your input is valuable, and we will carefully listen to and value your perspectives.
  • Inclusivity: We commit to ensuring that our co-production teams are diverse and inclusive, representing a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, to ensure that all voices are heard. We will make sure any access needs you may have are met to ensure each person can participate equally
  • Equal Partnership: We will treat young people as equal partners in the co-production process. Your input will carry the same weight as any other team member.
  • Training and Support: Where possible we will provide you with any necessary training and support to empower you to contribute effectively. This may include skills development and resources.
  • Transparency: We will be open and transparent about how your input will be used and the impact it will have on our mental health programmes.
  • Ongoing communication: We will stay in touch with you throughout the Co-Production journey so you can express concerns, make suggestions, and stay updated on progress. Afterwards, we will let you know the outcomes of the programme so you can see the difference your contributions have made.
  • Safety and Wellbeing: We are committed to creating a safe and supportive environment for you to participate in co-production. Your well-being is of the utmost important to us.
  • Recognition and Acknowledgement: We will recognise and acknowledge your contributions and the positive changes you help bring to our programmes. This may include public acknowledgement and participation in events or presentations.
  • Flexibility: We understand that your time and availability may vary. We will work to accommodate your schedules and needs to the best of our ability.
  • Empowerment: We pledge to empower you to be advocates for mental health and well-being in your communities. We will support your initiatives and help amplify your voices.

 

As part of our discovery work, we’ve put together a short survey for young people aged 14-18 from varied groups who face barriers and challenges receiving the mental health support they need. The survey closes on the 29th February and you can find out more, and share with anyone you may think relevant here.

To find out more surrounding our co-production work get in touch with: [email protected]

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Just £10 could help pay for a call to our advice and information line, supporting someone living with mental illness who may be feeling in distress during this time.

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