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Title: Integrating a youth participation model in a youth mental health service: Challenges and lessons learned.
Authors: Coates, Dominiek ;Howe, Deborah 
Issue Date: 2016
Journal title: Child and Youth Services
Abstract: Youth participation in mental health settings is fundamental to service design and delivery, and is beneficial for the young people as well as the organisation. This paper presents the findings of an evaluation of a youth participation model where tiered participation was attempted in a clinical mental health setting. To inform the ongoing development and improvement of a youth participation model an evaluation was conducted consisting of three focus groups with the youth consultants, consultations with management pertaining to the implementation of the tiered participation model, and a review of records. The purpose of this evaluation was to identify possible barriers to implementation early on so these could be addressed and a youth participation model that meets the needs of all key stakeholders could be developed. A number of challenges implementing the youth participation model into the existing service were experienced. Despite overall support for youth participation, clinical staff expressed some concerns. There was concern that youth consultants may fail to maintain confidentiality, may not be mentally healthy enough to work in a mental health setting and may misinterpret clinical conversations they may overhear. The youth consultants put forward a number of recommendations informing the development of the model; in particular, they expressed reservations about being engaged as ‘volunteers’ remunerated with vouchers, arguing that integration into the service would be enhanced if they were all engaged as employees of the service. Instead of implementing a tiered approach as was initially planned, all young people were engaged at one level.
DOI: 10.1080/0145935X.2015.1119652
ISSN: 1545-2298
Publicaton type: Journal Article
Keywords: Youth
Mental Health
Appears in Collections:Mental Health

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