New study launched to help improve young people’s mental health services

A new study has been launched by researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in collaboration with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) to help improve mental health services for young people.

Over the next few months, researchers in the School of Health and Life Sciences will be finding out from young people and their families what they want from mental health services and how they can be improved.

The SMYLE (Supporting Mental health services for Young people) is being funded by NHSGGC’s Specialist Children’s Services with a view to making recommendations to underpin future service delivery for young people.

Plans were already in place for the research before the Coronavirus pandemic struck. However, researchers understand that COVID-19 is having a huge impact on mental health so decided to continue the project and move their data collection entirely online with using a website, online survey and discussion forum.

GCU’s research team involved in the SMYLE study are Principal Investigator Dr Kerri McPherson, lead researcher Dr Pia Faeth, Dr Kareena McAloney-Kocaman and Dr Birgit Schroeter, all from the Department of Psychology.

Dr Faeth said: “We know that up to 20 per cent of young people experience difficulties with their mental health at some point in their life but we also know that many young people who need help don’t use mental health services.

“The aim of the SMYLE study Supporting Mental health services for Young peopLE is to understand why some young people use mental health services and others don’t and to understand what would help young people to stay engaged with the services.

“We are currently in phase two of the SMYLE study which involves engaging stakeholders to help us design the final phase of the study. In our SMYLE forum we will be asking young people, their parent and professionals what questions we should be asking how to best recruit study participants, and how we should disseminate the final findings.

“We are looking for the support of young people (12-25 years), parents/caregivers and professionals in Scotland who have some experience with mental health services or who are simply interested in mental health research.

“We think it is important that the people who are use, or are involved in the delivery of, mental health services are given the chance to share their views and help us to make improvements for the future. All participants who are able to help us will receive a £10 Amazon voucher as a thank you.”

To find out more about the study or to take part click here – www.smyle-study.org

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