This week in Mental Health and You we hear about a new research project called ASPIRE.
The aim of ASPIRE is to develop a support package to build resilience in young people who have experienced adverse childhood experiences.
Brioney Gee and Isabela Tavares Junqueira from the research team, explain:
- what the project involves,
- the huge role co-production has
- and how the project is going.
The new support package will empower a child’s caregiver – be it their Mum, Dad or someone else who is looking after them – to use techniques to build their child’s resilience, rather than a professional working with the young person. The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) fund ASPIRE.
We hear from two members of the stakeholder team who have relevant lived experience. Rachel a parent of three and Seb who is a young person giving input on various parts of the project.
The aim of the support package is to support children who have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) before the age of 18. Experiences such as:
- family break-up,
- being bullied,
- or experiencing a serious illness.
These ACEs have been linked to increased risk of a wide range of negative health outcomes across a person’s life. We also know there is a strong link between the number of ACEs a person is exposed to and their odds of experiencing mental health problems.
However, not all children who experience ACEs develop mental health difficulties. Some young people have social support and personal strengths that allow them to remain healthy despite difficult experiences. Something known as ‘resilience’.
The amount of resilience someone has is not fixed. If we can increase a young person’s resilience, we can decrease their risk of poor mental health.
The co-lead for this project is Cathy Creswell who is based at Oxford University, we also have partners who are based in the US Tim Lomaz and Cleo Berry is based at the University of Sussex. We are also working with co-applicants - two clinicians from NSFT Dr Jon Wilson and Dr Tim Clarke. We also have researcher as someone with lived experience in a parent/carer lead role Tina Walker.
If you want to get involved with ASPIRE then please email