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Young People’s Programmes team embarks on co-production

Young People's Programmes to improve mental health support through co-production, focusing on 14-18-year olds in underserved communities.
Hannah - Service Manager for Young People Programmes and CIara - Engagment Officer in YPP

The current preventative mental health workshops included in the Young People’s Programmes support 14-18 year olds by promoting healthy behaviours, encouraging positive relationships, improving academic performance, reducing long-term risk factors related to mental health and increasing adaptability in times of uncertainty.

Over the last six months, we have increased our work in diverse and underserved communities across Scotland. We recognise the need to tailor our existing programmes better to meet the needs of young people from these communities. We will do this through co-production, with our goal being to include them in the decision-making process from start to finish.

Our vision of co-production is an active collaborative partnership between the young people’s programmes team and young people/adult professionals. This approach moves beyond involvement, making young people co-decision-makers in the ongoing development of our programmes.

Young People Programmes teams from Change Mental Health, Mental Health UK, Rethink Mental Illness, Adferiad and MindWise, identified five priority groups at higher risk of poor mental health. 

These include young people:

  • living in areas of deprivation;
  • from ethnic minority backgrounds;
  • living in rurally isolated communities;
  • accessing education, but who may be at risk of poor mental health;
  • those with Additional Support Needs (ASN).

Through co-production, we aim to thoroughly understand the lived experience of young people in these priority communities, assess programme reception, gain knowledge of poor mental health drivers, build an evidence base and ensure the programme is fit for purpose.

In the first phase, Change Mental Health, leading work with young people in rurally isolated communities, will conduct at least three sessions with young people and supportive adults. Findings will inform and adapt programme delivery, supported by research partner Making Impact Matter.

Concurrently, an online survey is open until February 29, 2024, capturing the needs of young people facing barriers to mental health support. Those completing the survey will be entered into a prize draw, where 6 people will win online shopping vouchers. The top prize is a £50 voucher.

Complete the survey

Hannah Dibnah, Service Manager for Young People Programmes at Change Mental Health said:

“Co-production is essential for impactful work with diverse and underserved communities. We are committed to supporting and valuing young people from our priority communities and will take the time to provide meaningful opportunities for them to express their views and ideas.

“We want to avoid tokenistic approaches and ensure that young people’s viewpoints are centred. This marks an exciting new phase in the development of our young people’s programmes and Change Mental Health is well situated to take the lead on co-production work in rural communities.”


This an important time for our Young People’s Programmes, centred on ensuring the biggest impact, particularly in communities at higher risk of poor mental health and facing more barriers to accessing support. Co-production will holistically integrate young people’s voices into the development, design, delivery and evaluation stages.

Professionals working with young people from priority communities are encouraged to get in touch for more information.


Want to find out more about young people’s mental health resilience and the support we deliver to schools and colleges across Scotland?

If you need further information about Young People’s Programmes or want to enquire about online training, resources or how we can help your school or college, contact the team.

Do you have any more questions about the support Change Mental Health delivers across communities in Scotland? Contact our Advice and Support Service.

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