In this seminar Rebecca Randall presents an overview of the development and findings of her PhD research.
Involving young people in developing and designing mental health interventions may lead to higher rates of use and subsequently promote positive mental health. However, little is known about how young people have been involved in intervention development. This PhD project sought to investigate this issue through examining the characteristics, motivations of the young people who are involved in youth mental health research and their experiences of being involved. The work focused on the experiences of young people and researcher practitioners involved in an Australian multi-institutional cooperative research program (the Young and Well Cooperative Research Centre (CRC)).
A two arm, mixed-methods approach involving five interconnected studies was used. This has allowed the perspectives of a range of different stakeholder groups who are involved in this work to be captured. Findings from the study suggest that young people who participate in youth mental health research are a diverse group who are not significantly different from the broader population. They participate because they are interested the organizations who they are working with, because they feel they will gain opportunities for professional development and because they want to help other people. During their involvement they engage in a range of activities and have positive experiences while doing so. The work is expected to contribute to the development of methods of involving young people in youth mental health research and consequently the interventions that arise from it.