Illustration of workshop discussions

What does a mentally healthy society look like for young people?

The TRIUMPH Fest event in October 2022 brought together 60 young people aged 12-25 from across the UK to take part in a workshop that asked the question “What does a mentally health society look like for young people?”. Young people worked in groups and were asked to envisage this society with questions like what would it look like, how would it make them feel, and what would it enable them to do? Key ideas from these discussions are captured in the image above.

Through the discussions young people identified five priority areas that would have the biggest positive impact on their mental health:

  • A compassionate government
  • Celebrating different paths
  • Equity between affluent and deprived areas
  • Inclusive access to services
  • A society that does not focus on work and productivity

These priorities identified by young people largely fall outside the traditional areas of focus for research and practice that aims to support mental health, with more of a focus on societal factors and less on individual experiences. This is a significant shift from the traditional view of mental health and support or treatment for mental health being at an individual level, and instead young people recognised the bigger structural, political and cultural changes that would create a society that promotes better mental health for all.

You can read more about each of these priority areas and our call to action for researchers, practitioners and policy-makers in our workshop report.

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