Youth Speak: Increasing engagement of young people in mental health research

Lauren Mawn, Patrick Welsh, Helen J. Stain, Phoebe Windebank

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Patient and Public Involvement is now an essential part of health-related research. Evidence suggests that research that involves patients and members of the public can enhance methodological rigor and facilitate the implementation of research findings.Aims: Our paper describes the development of a youth research group (Youth Speak) aimed at increasing youth engagement in mental health research.Method: We provide a selective review of the literature and outline the challenges and benefits of involving young people in research. Examples of how our group has facilitated involvement and the challenges we have encountered are also discussed.Results: Meaningful involvement of young people in mental health research is poorly documented or significantly lacking given the dearth of published literature. This may reflect the difficulty of obtaining sustained funding which is required to facilitate non-tokenistic involvement or a perception that young people are unable to provide meaningful contributions in this area.Conclusions: By establishing groups such as Youth Speak, which focus on the long-term involvement and development of young people in all stages of the research process, we hope to empower young people so that they can reshape youth mental health services.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-275
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Mental Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Engagement
  • involvement
  • youth


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