We work with young people who identify themselves as having, or having had, mental health support needs to speak out on the mental health topics that are important to them. Young people do not need a 'referral' to join any of our programmes. We recognise that many young people who have mental health support needs, will not have used a formal service, so we do not use the term 'service user' in our work.
Our programmes are bespoke and varied and usually project-led but all driven by the same principles of empowering young people through skills training and development and access to platforms on which they can speak out, be heard and engage in driving forward change. We start with debate-centred training, designed to be fun and supportive and to encourage the development of debating skills including: public speaking, crafting and delivering an argument, team work, appreciation and understanding of differing perspectives, confidence etc. Once young people have received training, they are then invited to participate in various opportunities that give them access to speaking platforms and to working with decision-makers to lead and drive change.
We work with a number of young people who have already received training and are available for speaking engagements, conferences and so on. We are also able to deliver bespoke workshops and training for groups or specific projects you may have in mind.
We are based in the UK and do most of our work there, but have international reach and experience of working in multi-cultural settings with different needs and customs.
- Facebook UK: Over a number of weeks, we trained over 60 young people with mental health support needs from across London to debate. After their training period, the young people came together with specially invited guests at Facebook UKHQ for a day of competitive, mental health-themed debate, skills showcasing and celebration.
- Royal College of Paediatric and Child Health: A number of the young people we work with spoke on a panel on children and young people's mental health systems in England.
- Royal College of Psychiatrists, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Faculty: Four young people discussed the future of mental health services in Scotland in this public debate at the Faculty's annual conference.
- Global Ministerial Summit on Mental Health: 10 young people we work with took leadership roles in the 'Children, young people and the now generation work stream', informing the direction and outcomes of the work stream. They planned and delivered interactive mini -sessions highlighting best practice case studies from around the world (some of the sessions were delivered with special guests the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in the audience). The group also facilitated the creation of the work stream's consensus statements, which formed the basis of recommendations delivered to ministers.
- World Mental Health Day 2018: Young people were invited to a reception with UK Prime Minister, Theresa May. One was selected, along with representatives from other mental health organisations, to join a private meeting with Theresa May,in which young people's priorities in mental health were discussed.
- Maudsley Debates: Four young people debated the use of involuntary treatment of young people in ward-based settings. The debate was attended by a range of professionals and members of the public.