Amplified - what we're doing
Through Amplified, we want to put young people and their parents at the heart of the mental health system to create user-centred services where your voice matters.
What is participation?
Put simply, it’s when young people engage in the decisions and actions made around their own mental health. That includes the services they access, the issues they face and the various organisations they’ll come into contact with at both a local and national level.
There are currently lots of words used about participation in young people’s mental health, so we've worked with YoungMinds Activists o come up with a way of describing what we mean. We'll also be developing this definition further during the programme.
Why is participation so important?
In all walks of life, services work best when they’re designed around the user – and mental health services are no different.
Involving young people will help to:
- achieve positive outcomes for young people by helping them develop skills, self-esteem and authority over their own decisions.
- increase young people’s engagement with services and to achieve better health outcomes
- transform the culture with services and communities to make them more child and family centred
- empower young people to take care of their mental health and seek help early, promoting prevention and early intervention
Involving parents and carers is also essential, as their support makes a huge difference to their child’s mental health. So they too need opportunities to participate such as making decisions about the care their child or family receives, or about issues impacting their child’s mental health at a local and national level.
Throughout the programme we’ll also be supporting organisations to develop strategies for young people experiencing extra vulnerabilities.
Young people experiencing extra vulnerabilities include those who have had experience of the youth justice system, young people accessing inpatient CAMHS, young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or trans and young people who are refugee and asylum seekers.
They’re essential in the project too, because:
- It’s been shown that vulnerable children and young people are more likely to experience mental illness
- These young people may need particular support to be able to participate in decisions about their own mental health and participate within organisations.
- It is important everyone working with vulnerable young people ensures they receive the support they need to participate in decision making, so that services are better able to meet their specific needs
- For participation to be effective, organisations need to create the conditions for children and young people of all abilities and backgrounds to get involved.