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The purpose of these guiding principles is to underpin organisational approaches and support decision-making when it comes to ways of engaging young people with lived experiences of mental ill-health. By integrating the principles from this resource into the early stages of engaging young people, they can act as a compass to help guide and inform practices for the most impactful, meaningful and efficient approaches to youth engagement.

Attitudes and practices associated with child and youth engagement in mental health have evolved in recent years, generating greater global attention. However exactly what best practice looks like in this field remains inconsistent. This collaborative resource seeks to address that inconsistency, presenting a set of guiding principles as a foundation of best practice for lived experience youth engagement.

The process for developing this resource included workshopping principles and approaches at the 2022 International Association for Youth Mental Health Conference and collaboration with members of the Children and Youth Working Group of the Global Mental Health Action Network. The process involved gaining input from a diverse range of professions and stakeholders.

Principles and recommendations from this report can be applied to youth engagement for a variety of purposes, such as:

  • organisational structures and governance
  • advisory roles/groups
  • advocacy, and policy development and reform
  • service, programme, campaign and/or content development and delivery
  • research
  • media
  • education curriculum or activity development
All disorders
Children and adolescents
Non-communicable diseases (e.g. cancer, diabetes, stroke)
Middle East
North America
Central America and the Caribbean
South America
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