Creating a Culture of Support
Poor mental health in children and young people has become a growing crisis in the UK. Today, 1 in 10 children, nearly 3 children in every classroom, have a diagnosable mental health condition. (Office for National Statistics, 2015)
In response to these high levels of unmet need in young people's mental health services, a collaborative project was undertaken to understand what new services should be developed, with a focus on the young people of Thurrock, Essex. We worked with Thurrock Mind, a charity currently delivering mental health services as part of the Mind network. Our goal was to co-design a proactive mental health service for 11 to 24 year-olds and to leave Thurrock Mind equipped with the Service Design tools required to implement them.
Our co-designed solutions have been piloted in schools and youth organisations with the majority of young people reporting an increased understanding and better knowledge of how to access mental health services.
Working with 76 young people over 8 workshops, plus 31 experts and community members, we identified a need to increase mental health literacy in young people and their support networks. We used games and co-design methods to create a safe place for sharing lived experience of mental health and wrote to each of the young participants afterwards to thank them for their contribution.
Interventions – Our co-designed interventions fit into 3 categories:
Equipping Thurrock Mind to design and deliver interactive mental health education for teachers and young people.
Equipping Thurrock Mind with the Service Design tools needed to take the project forward iteratively.
Enabling Thurrock Mind to make informed decisions, seek funding and explore longer term projects, with synthesised data and insights.
Outcomes – Data captured before and after interventions.