NSFT give a voice this Children's Mental Health Week | News and events

NSFT give a voice this Children's Mental Health Week

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT)’s participation team worked with service users to co-produce the young people’s participation booklet.

Over a year in the making this booklet is now available for young people under the age of 25 who are interested in becoming involved with the Trust through participation.

Children's Mental Health Week empowers, equips and gives a voice to all children and young people in the UK. This year’s awareness week (5-11 February 2024) is the 10th and the theme is ‘my voice matters’. Participation is a great way for NSFT to hear the voice of young people and make it matter in relation to services provided.

Young people informed the development of the content included in the booklet, and ensured that the information was clear and easy to understand, including a jargon busting page explaining abbreviations and specific participation terms. The booklet provides information about what participation is, who the team are, the benefits of participation, information on how to get involved, and the opportunities available.

Such opportunities include the young people’s participation group, called Particip8, which meets fortnightly in Suffolk. The group work on projects, share experiences and make meaningful changes to local services.  Opportunities for young people in Norfolk and Waveney are shared monthly in the Young People’s Participation News, a coproduced newsletter that also shares updates and progress on the involvement of young people.

The booklet showcases what has been achieved by participation with young people including a variety of successful projects such as short films, podcasts, quality improvement projects, and co-produced contact cards for wallets or purses to support wellbeing. The booklet also features stories from young people who have been involved, including Liv, a participation group member who has since gone on to work for the Trust as a Peer Support Worker.

Finally, the second part of the booklet includes content curated by young people to reflect what supported them through their own mental health recovery. The young people chose to share top tips for keeping well, messages of hope, as well as art and poetry.

Liv, an NSFT Peer Support Worker, said: “The young person’s participation group made me feel like I was doing something meaningful and my voice was being heard. Participation has helped me gain confidence, build my self-esteem, learn new IT skills, become more confident. This booklet has been a way to ensure that service users are not only supported but feel seen and understood. I’m delighted to be a part of this and know that we are sharing useful information to young people to help shape their recovery journey.”

Lucy North, People Participation Lead for Children, Families and Young People’s Services said: “We are committed to placing participation and involvement at the heart of all we do. We are grateful for all of the young people who support our work and are able to have a meaningful impact on our projects. This booklet is an example of true co-production and we hope that it is helpful for young people. We also hope it helps us grow the number of young participants who have their say to improve the experience and outcomes of those who use our services.”

Page Feedback

Page Feedback

We have placed cookies on your computer to help make this website better. You can at any time read our cookie policy. Otherwise, we will assume that you are OK to continue.

Please choose a setting: