Understanding young people's experience of mental health and wellbeing

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Suffolk collaborated with Unity in Diversity and the Thomas Gainsborough School on a project to better understand young people’s experiences of mental health and wellbeing in Suffolk. The project fed into the ongoing work of the Public Health and Suffolk County Council’s Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services Transformation Plan. The team surveyed 400 students and ran an engagement session with 100 students. Unity and Diversity led stage 3 of the project which comprised of drama workshops, followed by a showcase. The responses indicated that young people ranked mental health, self-harm and sexual health as their top 3 priorities. The findings also indicated that young people associated mental illness with deviant behaviour and young people recognised that mental health has wider impacts than just the individual suffering. The team noted that there were a number of barriers to accessing mental health services for young people. Young people indicated that mental health should be a more prominent part of personal, social, health and economic education. The report includes recommendations from students at the Thomas Gainsborough School. The report also indicated that the Thomas Gainsborough School have taken progressive steps to address the need for more education around mental health and wellbeing.

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General details

Report title 
Understanding young people's experience of mental health and wellbeing
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Suffolk
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 1 June, 2016
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 1 December, 2015
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 1 March, 2016
Type of report 
Key themes 
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Voluntary and Community Sector
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Mental health

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people under the age of 18
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.