We are currently working on a peer research project which will be exploring the needs and experiences of young adults across Greater Manchester when it comes to accessing support for their mental health and wellbeing. Over the next year we will be completing training with our young adult peer consultants, co-developing a research framework and engaging with young adults across Greater Manchester to create a network of accountability.
People may ask why this piece of work is important? Statistics from NHS England’s most recent study of children and young people’s mental health show that:
“In young people aged 17 to 19 years, rates of a probable mental disorder rose from 1 in 10 (10.1%) in 2017 to 1 in 6 (17.7%) in 2020. Rates were stable between 2020 and 2021, but then increased from 1 in 6 (17.4) in 2021 to 1 in 4 (25.7%) in 2022”.
“In 2022 53.2% of young people aged 17 to 23 years who had a concern about their mental health reported seeking help or advice”
So, we know why it is important but let’s take a step back – what do we mean when we talk about peer research? Peer research is research that is led by people who have direct experience of the issues being explored. It is about giving young people the power to take the lead in designing and carrying out research.
It is a collaborative process which aims to put young people’s voices at the centre and discover interesting new things about people and their experiences.
From this process we want to achieve a report and recommendations outlining how services can best meet the needs of young adults. We also want to co-develop a workshop and training offer for areas across Greater Manchester to show how these recommendations can be implemented. We will also keep young adults who participate in the project updated and highlight the impact that their input has had.
This is an ongoing timeline of our projects path and our progression. We will be updating this at each milestone so keep checking in!
My name is Niamh and I am the project lead for this young adult’s peer research, I am supporting our peer consultants to take the lead in designing and carrying out the research. I am excited and passionate about being involved with a project that is not afraid to give young adults the power to explore all the varied ways we can engage with people across Greater Manchester and ensure that all the work, from the questions we ask people, to the analysis of the data is led by young adults. I hope that this piece of work encourages people to think differently about how they work with young adults and takes on board the recommendations that are produced.
I also love spending time with my dog, getting outside, the colour green and most importantly sleeping!!!
Hiya everyone, my name is Kenzye and I am a 22-year-old working here at 42nd street as a peer consultant. My story in a nutshell is, I have battled with my mental health since the age of 5. I have spent a chunk of my time within school, within an inpatient unit which solidified my passion for working within this field in order to give others a voice. I also have recently gotten a degree in Psychology with counselling and psychotherapy which brought me here!
I am passionate about raising awareness and understanding of living with mental health difficulties and showing people that having mental health difficulties does NOT have to stop you from reaching your goals and dreams. You deserve support and you deserve to be heard.
On a lighter note, I am a huge lover of the colour yellow, dressing bright, spending time with my family and friends, singing, pandas, elephants and lobsters, having long funky nails, crystals and getting tattoos and piercings.
Hey all! My names Grace I’m one of the Peer Consultants working on this research task. I’m young adult with my own share of experiences dealing with mental health which has definitely had challenging moments as I’m a Care Leaver and a Trans Woman. This role to me means a lot. It’s finally a chance to both pay back services like 42nd street who helped me through a lot of darker times in my life and it’s a chance for me to make a change and difference to the parts that weren’t as helpful to me or to others.
Although I do a lot more then just this role. Currently I’m a student at Uni and I partake in a group at 42nd street, as a young person, called cloud 42 where I work on things like research and training with other care leavers. Skipping past some of this boring stuff I love Raccoons, Iced Coffee, the colour orange and gaming.
I guess to finish I’d say I’m just me. Another one of many young adults in Greater Manchester.
Who can get Involved?
From the NHS we have been given an outline of specific young people to learn from these are as follows.
Young Adults age 16-25 who are:
• People with ADHD
• People on the Autism Spectrum
• Care Leavers
• People with complex needs
• People with physical health needs
• People with experiences of psychosis
• People on the edges of the criminal justice system
• LGBTQI+ communities
• People who are homeless
• Young adult parents
• Young adult carers
• Young adults from ethnic minority backgrounds
• People with experience of alcohol and substance misuse
We recognise that intersectionality between these groups exist and young adults do not fit neatly into a box and their experiences may not align with the areas described above. So, we encourage any young adult no matter what your experiences are to get involved!