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Defining research priorities for youth public mental health: reflections on a co-production approach to transdisciplinary working

Taylor, Andrea, McMellon, Christina, French, Tara, MacLachlan, Alice, Evans, Rhiannon ORCID:, Lewis, Ruth, McCann, Mark, Moore, Laurence, Murphy, Simon ORCID:, Simpson, Sharon and Inchley, Jo 2022. Defining research priorities for youth public mental health: reflections on a co-production approach to transdisciplinary working. Health Research Policy and Systems 20 (1) , 72. 10.1186/s12961-022-00871-w

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Background: With most mental health problems established during childhood/adolescence, young people must be a key focus of public mental health approaches. Despite the range of factors known to influence mental health, evidence for effective interventions is lacking for this age group. This study aimed to define priorities for future public health intervention-focused research to support youth mental health by engaging with transdisciplinary stakeholder groups. Methods: Our coproduction approach involved priority-setting workshops with young people, researchers, practitioners and policy-makers. Each workshop focused on three thematic areas: social connections and relationships; schools and other education settings; and key groups at greater risk of mental ill-health, specifically LGBTQ+ and care-experienced young people. Workshop outputs were synthesized to define research priorities. Results: This paper presents the research priorities that were defined through the priority-setting workshops, and our reflections on the coproduction approach to guide future similar activities undertaken by others. Ten priorities for youth public mental health research were defined, covering the following areas: building supportive relationships; whole system approaches; social media; support at times of transition; improving links between different services; development and training for those who support young people; staff mental health; engaging with families; awareness of and access to services; and out-of-school and community settings. Conclusions: These research priorities can inform future intervention development to support youth public mental health. Our transdisciplinary approach means the identified research priorities are likely to be relevant to young people’s experiences and needs, and to fit with the needs of those working in practice and policy to support young people.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer)
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 1478-4505
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 31 May 2022
Date of Acceptance: 19 May 2022
Last Modified: 17 May 2023 20:56

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