VIEWS AND EXPERIENCES OF YOUNG PEOPLE (11-16 years) TOWARDS MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT IN A SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY SETTING IN THE UK

  • Lucia Fernandez-Arias

Student thesis: Doctor of Counselling Psychology

Abstract

Background & Aim: This study set to explore what young people [YP] think of the wellbeing and mental health [MH] support available to them in their school and community as such views are currently underrepresented in the literature. It aimed to contribute to our understanding of young people's psychological needs and preferences of mental health services including its delivery and performance. Study Design: YP (11 to 16 years) were invited to take part in semi-structured interviews to discuss their experiences of MH and wellbeing support available to them. Twenty-one participants from a secondary school based in the North of the UK took part in the study. A representative sample with the following characteristics was recruited: YP with experiences of past MH issues; long-term health conditions; no known MH issues or other conditions. A comparable gender and age representation was ascertained in the sample. Data Analysis: The participants' interviews were transcribed and further analysed through the use of thematic analysis (Braun & Clarke, 2006). Results & Discussion: The findings suggest that YP are an informed consumer group of wellbeing and MH provision and were aware of the benefits of psychological support. They identified the need for more services and voiced strong views on helpful and unhelpful features of support that was available at their school and community, both on an interpersonal and service-user level. This study contributed to the literature on help-seeking and psychological coping in young people. It was observed that help-seeking was mediated by the perceived need for support, self-confidence and individual differences. Identified barriers to accessing support were lack of services and perceived stigma. Conclusion: The findings showed that young people favoured a person-centred approach to care (Ahmad, Ellins, Krelle & Lawrie, 2014). They wanted to feel valued, respected, listened to, be a part of collaborative planning and involved in the decision-making and management of their mental health care.
Date of Award1 Aug 2019
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorAlison Alborz (Supervisor), Terry Hanley (Supervisor) & Laura Winter (Supervisor)

Keywords

  • school
  • community
  • support
  • views
  • mental health
  • young people
  • wellbeing

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