Adolescence is associated with peak incidence of most major mental illnesses. However, this coincides with a longstanding and widespread fragmentation of services between children’s and adult services, each with their own cultures and approaches to care. As a result, young people who have to move between services have worse health and social outcomes.
The aim of this workstream is to establish a network of young people with experience of psychosis. In partnership with the NIHR CLAHRC Oxford, we will harness young people’s accounts of their experiences of mental health services to create a multi-media internet resource (HealthTalk module) to raise awareness of the issues faced by young people and their families. This will include the potential effect on their study/work, social life and relationships, decisions on treatment options and side-effects of treatments. Questions that patients want answered are identified in the interviews with patients and will be summarised on the website.
We will also seek to engage young people and, where appropriate, their carers to ensure that their voices are heard and their experiences understood. Too often the voices of those experiencing mental health issues are not heard, or are limited to a small group of confident and well-used speakers who, whilst incredibly helpful and valuable, do not speak for all those experiencing such issues.