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Young Minds in the Eastern region could help inspire future research

Young Minds in the Eastern region could help inspire future research

NHS researchers and public health teams called on young people from across North Essex to help design future mental health research at an event in Colchester in June.

The Young Minds Inspiring Health & Wellbeing Research event aimed to generate conversations between young people and mental health experts which could inspire ideas for future research which addresses young people’s health and social care needs more closely. The free event took place at the Firstsite Gallery, Colchester on Wednesday 12 June and was open to young people over the age of 18 years. 

Young Minds Inspiring Health & Wellbeing Research was the first event of its kind to be held in the region, and was organised by the NIHR in collaboration with local young people and public health partners, including local Council teams, Healthwatch Essex and Refugee Action Colchester.

Young people and carers shared their mental health experiences and views in an informal discussion, and had the opportunity to discuss ideas and questions about mental health research with teams involved.

Researchers hoped that by collaborating with young people in the debate on research, future studies can be better shaped to be more relevant young people. The event was also a fantastic opportunity for anyone interested in getting involved in mental health research to learn more about NIHR studies happening near them.

NIHR Patient & Public Involvement Lead, Helen Macdonald said, “Involving the public in conversations about future research is vital. It allows us to develop more impactful studies based on the needs of patients. By taking part in this event these young people have helped to make mental health research more dynamic and relevant to patients.”

‘Young Minds Inspiring Health & Wellbeing Research’ is part of a wider ‘Reaching Out’ programme funded by the NIHR which aims to increase access to research for hard-to-reach groups. The programmehas been developed in partnership between the NIHR, Tendring District Council, Refugee Action Colchester, Firstsite Art Gallery, Essex Council for Voluntary Youth Services, Friends not Foes, Colchester 6th Form College, Healthwatch Essex and a local young people’s group.