Regular engagement with our Youth Advisory Group (YAG) is integral to the work conducted at the IMH. Comprised of young people aged 18–25 with lived experience of, or a strong interest in youth mental health, the YAG works to create, shape and challenge research into youth mental health. The YAG is supported by the IMH Youth Involvement Co-Leads Niyah Campbell and Charlotte Saunders.
Throughout 2022, YAG members contributed a significant amount of time to supporting IMH-related activity. Some key contributions are detailed below:
- Attending 50+ YAG meetings, in which YAG members offer guidance and support to researchers and PhD students in the development of new projects
- Co-presenting at the International Association for Youth Mental Health 2022, Copenhagen
- Co-leading teaching sessions for University of Birmingham Medical Students
- Co-creating accessible research-related resources for young people
- One YAG member has joined an IMH study team to fulfil the role of ‘Lived Experience Involvement Lead’ within the project.
In 2022, we successfully obtained funding for a cross-college project that aims to evaluate and further enhance the practice of lived experience involvement in research within the University. As well as working alongside UoB colleagues, we have partnered with the McPin Foundation, national youth involvement experts. Working with McPin has provided an exciting opportunity for the IMH Youth Advisory Group and McPin Young Person’s Advisory Groups to work together, feeding into to project activities by providing lived experience perspectives and co-developing dissemination plans. A public engagement event to share knowledge developed through this project will be held mid-2023.
In September Seven YAG members attended the International Association for Youth Mental Health (IAYMH) conference in Copenhagen. YAG member Zaynab was a part of the IAYMH conference planning committee and after a successful abstract submission, the YAG presented a table-top talk focussed on their work with Dr Maria Michail to co-produce and publish #MyGPGuide.