Transdisciplinary Research for the Improvement of Youth Mental Public Health
Working together to improve mental health
Childhood and adolescence are key life stages that set the foundations for health in adulthood. However, in today’s society, young people face real challenges to maintain their mental health. They live in an ever-changing environment, driven by changes in technology, communications and the media.
One in ten children and young people experience mental health problems, yet we have few effective solutions for the improvement of youth mental health. Treatment and care, when accessible, treats the problem and not the causes. We believe there is a different approach – one that seeks to understand young people’s strengths, which we can draw on to improve mental health. This approach takes young people themselves as the starting point.
Between 2018 and 2023 the Transdisciplinary Research for the Improvement of Youth Mental Public Health (TRIUMPH) Network brought together young people with academics, health practitioners, policymakers and those working with voluntary organisations to find new ways to improve youth mental health and wellbeing, especially among those where need is greatest. This report summarises the Networks key achievements.
Research agenda setting
In 2020, we hosted a series of workshops across the UK to coproduce a research agenda identifying priority areas for research to improve youth public mental health in collaboration with almost 200 stakeholders including young people, researchers, policymakers and practitioners.
To assess applications to our network funding call we brought together a panel of 12 young people from the TRIUMPH Youth Advisory Group alongside researchers, and professionals from the Scottish Government, Public Health Scotland, NHS and leading mental health charities. It was great to hear all of the different opinions and priorities of each stakeholder group, and to see young people’s opinions being highly valued in the decision-making process.
Early Career Research Forum
Our online ECR Forum was attended by over 150 delegates, and showcased the work of ECRs working in this field, as well as providing an opportunity for researchers across all sectors at an early stage in their career to receive advice and guidance from more senior scientists in the field.
Playlist: Keynote sessions from TRIUMPH Early Career Research Forum
Advisory Group Residentials
Our three residential weekends with the TRIUMPH Youth Advisory Group have been key in building strong working relationships and friendships within this group. Each residential has involved a range of workshops and activities, ensuring young people are involved in all of the network plans. But as well as being productive we’ve always found time to make jokes and have fun!
In October 2022 we hosted TRIUMPH Fest, a two-day event celebrating young people’s contribution to mental health research and activism. The event saw over 150 young people, academics, practitioners and policy makers come together to share their work and learn from one another. TRIUMPH Fest was a brilliant opportunity for all of our attendees to meet others and learn from one another, and it was great to be able to highlight the work and future hopes of so many incredibly committed young researchers and activists.