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CHOOSE Study: Youth mental health and Covid-19

Using GP records to examine the impact of the pandemic on youth mental health issues, diagnoses and prescriptions

Project overview

Funded by the National Institute for Health Research, this project aims to explore how the mental health of children and young people has been affected during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are looking at data from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink (CPRD) to examine how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected children and young people; for example, how many young people have been diagnosed with a mental health condition before, during and after the pandemic, and how many prescriptions have been offered to treat mental health issues.

By looking at this data we will be able to make recommendations for GPs, healthcare and social services and schools and colleges on how to better identify mental health issues and help young people and children.

Project details

GPs are often the first point of contact for people experiencing mental health issues. By analysing the data and providing recommendations we hope to:

  • Improve how we identify young people’s mental health issues at an early stage
  • Further our understanding of the challenges brought on by the pandemic
  • Impact post-pandemic mental health recovery plans for healthcare, social care and educational services
  • Improve how we use the resources available to better target young people’s mental health issues
  • Bring about better guidance for healthcare and education professionals, empowering them to feel confident offering support to young people with mental health concerns

Ensure children and young people receive the support and treatment they need to prevent development of (further) mental health issues later in life.

We are responsible for ensuring the voices of young people, and parents and carers, with relevant lived experience shape the project throughout.

We have formed both a Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG) of eight young people (13-25 years old) with lived experience of mental health issues, and an adult/carer advisory group of five parents/carers.

They will meet during the project and advise on key aspects, including:

  • Providing a voice for lived experience throughout the project
  • Guiding the analysis of the GP records
  • Making sense of the findings and working out what this means for young people’s mental health
  • Making recommendations for GP practices and other health and social care services
  • Co-producing creative outputs and resources for these services and for young people/parents & carers (e.g. videos, social media resources)

For more information about the public involvement within this project, please email [email protected].

Work with us

We are always excited to hear from others who want to collaborate on mental health research. From delivering peer research to helping you with public involvement strategies and providing training, get in touch to chat.