Being Myself - A look at the Emotional Wellbeing of young people in Daventry TownDownload (PDF 1.56MB)
Summary of report content
In the summer of 2019 Young Healthwatch Northamptonshire was commissioned by Healthy Young Daventry to carry out a study into emotional wellbeing and self-harm among young people in Daventry. They undertook a survey to which 473 young people aged between 11 and 19 completed the survey between March and May 2020. A similar survey for parents/carers was also completed by 29 people. Two focus groups were also held with 10 young people from The Parker E-ACT Academy. As part of the project seven semi-structured interviews were conducted by Time2Talk with young people who were already accessing their service to find out more about why young people self-harm and what helps them.
The findings show that whilst only 20% of young people said they had used a support service for their emotional health, talking to friends, parents/carers or another trusted adult was something that 61% said they did to help them deal with difficult emotions. They also imply that schools may be suitable locations for support services for some but not all young people as some were concerned about confidentiality and stigma.
Informal sport and exercise were also activities that helped some young people cope when things were difficult and more expressed an interest in using these activities in Daventry to help manage their emotional wellbeing. The focus group discussion suggested that fun and informal sport would help the most and that there is a need to remove barrier to participation, such as cost and caring responsibilities.
There were mixed opinions about how helpful the available support services were and the focus group felt that the services already provided in Daventry should be better promoted through a wellbeing festival.
Nearly one-third of the survey respondents said they knew or suspected that one of their friends had self-harmed but only around half had spoken to someone about it. Some people were trying to support their friends without seeking help from someone else whereas others had spoken to teachers, parents/carers and other trusted adults for advice as well as their friends. Young people who had experience of self-harm (at a non-critical level) said that talking about their feelings and emotions with people who understood and did not judge them had really helped them cope with their self-harming. They felt that more people developing a better understanding of the issues around self-harm and listening to their experiences, as well as more access to services to support them would make things better for young people who self-harm. They found it helpful when people approached the issues and results of self-harm in as calm a way as possible.
The report contains seven recommendations about health and wellbeing, support services, promotion of existing services, training and involving young people in service design.