Network Funded Research Projects

The TRIUMPH Network plus-funding call for research projects closed in July 2020. We are delighted to announce that grants have been awarded to support the following projects that will start from October 2020.

Co-production or adaptation of online interventions for foster care: Promoting the mental health and wellbeing of care-experienced children and young people

Rhiannon Evans (Cardiff University)
Dawn Mannay (Cardiff University)
Maria Boffey (The Fostering Network)
Charlotte Wooders (The Fostering Network)
Lorna Stabler (Cardiff University)
Rachel Vaughan (Cardiff University)
Brittany Davies (CASCADE Voices)

Young people who have been in care are at increased risk of poor wellbeing and mental ill-health. There are range of programmes and services that aim to offer support, but the majority of these are delivered in-person. Recently, there has been a move to deliver services online, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. This has highlighted a number of challenges for those working with care-experienced young people, as it may be difficult to conduct risk assessments digitally or ensure child protection. There are also issues about young people having limited access to phones or computers.

This project will look at how to best develop online programmes for care-experienced young people, or how to or adapt them from in person to online delivery. Young people from CASCADE Voices and The Fostering Network Young Person’s Council are involved in the design and delivery of the project.

From this study the team will develop guidance to support policymakers, practitioners and researchers in developing and adapting programmes for delivery online. These will focus on how to best engage young people, while properly assessing risk and ensuring protection. Based on promising programmes identified from this project, the team plan to apply for funding to develop and further evaluate an online programme. If it works, it can then be rolled out more widely to support care-experienced young people’s mental health and wellbeing in the UK.

Optimising school staff training to support LGBTQ+ young persons

Charlotte Woodhead (King’s College London)
Angela Mascolo (Exposure Organisation)
Lukasz Konieczka (Mosaic LGBT+ Young Persons Trust @TheMosaicTrust)
Catherine el-Zerbi (King’s College London)
Juliet Dyrud (Mosaic LGBT+ Young Persons Trust)
Kate Rimes (King’s College London)
Sally Marlow (King’s College London)
Gemma Knowles (King’s College London)
Helen Ward (Jack Drum Arts)
Josh Conlon (Jack Drum Arts)
Tom Makepeace (Jack Drum Arts)

Schools are key to public mental health approaches supporting young LGBTQ+ persons. Teachers and other school staff who understand LGBTQ+ students can create more accepting environments and help prevent mental health issues. However, little is known about the training needs of staff in relation to LGBTQ+ mental health from young people’s or staff perspectives, the extent to which they involve students, or incorporate their perspectives into training, development or delivery.

This project aims for optimise training around LGBTQ+ mental health for schools, by:

  1. Identifying the UK-based LGBTQ+ training available to schools and what relevance it has to young persons’ mental health and how this compares to staff training needs identified by LGBTQ+ pupils and school staff.
  2. Understanding what influences training uptake by schools and identifying ways to encourage uptake.

Young people from Mosaic LGBT+ Young Persons Trust and Jack Drum Arts will be involved as part of a research advisory group and as trained peer researchers.

From this research the team will develop and share recommendations related to training needs important to LGBTQ+ young persons and school staff; ways to optimise training based on identified gaps; and ways to promote uptake. Future work will involve evaluating changes to existing training identified through this project, to establish effectiveness in creating a supportive school environment that promotes good mental health, and to enhance uptake and implementation.

Reprezent’s On the Level – Covid-19 mental health programme in schools

Liat Levita (University of Sheffield)
Jilly Gibson Miller (University of Sheffield)
Liam Mason (University College London)
Christine Cox (Reprezent)
Shane Carey (Reprezent Youth Radio Station)
Reprezent Youth Mental Health Advisory Panel

Reprezent, a youth radio station in Brixton, has won awards for mental health programmes for young people in education establishments. Their programmes are designed by young people, alongside mental health practitioners and are delivered by youth presenters. Reprezent run high-tech assemblies using apps and digital platforms designed to raise awareness and offer tools to identify anxiety with steps to manage mental health effectively.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak Reprezent, in consultation with young people, teachers and educational psychologists, have developed a new programme to train school staff and support young people in the wake of the pandemic. The programme takes a whole-school approach, including year group specific classroom sessions, virtual assemblies, mental health training for teachers, in addition to developing School Mental Health Ambassadors.

This research project aims to evaluate the new programme, and measure the impact on mental health of young people and school environments. Members of Reprezent’s Youth Advisory Panel helped to develop the new programme and will be involved in delivering the project.

This research will provide evidence-based data on outcomes of the school-based support programme, and will identify key elements of the programme for the design of future programmes aimed at enhancing the wellbeing of young people within education settings. In future, the team plan to use these findings to support delivery of similar programmes across the UK.

CESAME: Culturally Engaged and Sensitive Approaches to Mental health Education

Sneha Raman (The Glasgow School of Art)
Andrea Taylor (The Glasgow School of Art)
Abdul Moiz Siddiqi (Young Researcher, Leaders Unlocked)
Nadzeya Svirydzenka (De Montfort University)
Raghu Raghavan (De Montfort University)
Kadra Abdinasir (Centre for Mental Health)

Transition from primary to secondary school can be exciting, but it is also a very stressful experience for young people and can have a negative impact on their mental health. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) young people may be particularly poorly supported in the transition process, and we have very little knowledge of their transition experiences. 

This project focuses on BAME young people, and the transition from primary to secondary school. The project aims to: 

  1. Explore the mental health needs and aspirations of BAME young people during the primary to secondary school transition.
  2. Develop recommendations for policy and practice, particularly education providers.
  3. Explore early stage design concepts for new culturally sensitive approaches—such as learning and teaching resources—to support BAME young people.

The project will involve young people from the youth organisation, Leaders Unlocked. It will take a participatory design approach and use creative methods to facilitate the young people to express their experiences and work together to generate design concepts.

The project outputs will be shared nationally through project partners to highlight the need and opportunities for culturally sensitive approaches to mental health in schools. In the future the team will seek further funding to co-design and evaluate one or more of the design concepts as an intervention to support mental health.