Adult 18+

Join our Young People’s Advisory Group for the Supporting Adolescents with Self-Harm Study

Self-harm • Young people

What’s the project?

Young people who go to A&E in a mental health crisis face many difficulties. They want to feel heard, understood and to be treated with compassion at such a difficult time. Unfortunately, this is does not always happen.

This is why researchers from City, University of London and McPin want to improve things. They are working together on a project: Supporting Adolescents with Self-Harm (SASH). The SASH Study is looking at a new style of assessment for young people who self-harm and seek support from A&E and crisis teams.

This new approach aims to put the young person’s voice at the centre. It focuses on what the young person’s hopes are for the assessment, to build a preferred future and safety plan that focuses on the young person’s resources and strengths using their own words.

To ensure the project intends to help the people it impacts, we are making sure there is young people’s involvement throughout. For this project, we have a Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG) made up of 8 young people all with lived experience of self-harm/suicidality who have been advising on the project since its start in 2022.

Some of the things the YPAG have worked on so far are: advising on the inclusion/exclusion criteria of the SASH assessment, been involved in training A&E staff in the new style of assessment, shaping and inputting on recruitment materials and trialling some of the questionnaires used with young people.

You can read more about the project on our website here, you can also visit the SASH study website here.

Find out more

We are looking for 2 young people to join the existing Young People’s Advisory Group (YPAG) for this project to ensure that the voices of young people with lived experience are heard throughout this project!

Your involvement in this YPAG would consist of online meetings via Zoom as well as regular contact throughout the project. There may also be opportunities for in-person work if this is of interest. As a young person with lived experience of mental health issues, you have special expert knowledge to bring to the research conversation: your role would be to advise on the project throughout, ensuring that it is meeting the needs of those it intends to affect – young people themselves.
You would advise on key aspects of the project, including:

  • Advising and refining the SASH assessment for young people
  • Developing documents alongside the research team such as, information sheets and consent forms
  • Guide and advise on a variety of aspects of the project throughout its course and provide input during crucial stages (for example: advising the team on the best way to engage and speak with young people in crisis)
  • Provide valuable feedback on study documents
  • Brainstorm and input ways to share the findings of the study widely so that they help young people
  • Co-produce creative outputs, resources and activities to ensure the findings of the project are heard! (e.g TikTok, videos, social media resources)

The SASH project is due to run for three years, we are currently in year 2. We have roughly four online meetings every year (around 1 every 3 months). We stay in regular contact with our YPAG via email and send out optional ad hoc opportunities to the group if it is of interest (For example, reviewing the script researchers say to young people to introduce them to the study).

The next meeting will be held in Summer 2024. We send out doodle polls to everyone beforehand, so you are able to vote on a day/time that best suits you!
We’d like to induct 2 new YPAG members into the group to advise on the study until it finishes. Before joining the group, you will meet with McPin staff members who will induct you into the group, get you up to speed and answer any questions that you have.

What is a YPAG?

Young People’s Advisory Groups (aka YPAGs) are groups which tend to have long term involvement with a research organisation. They meet regularly to discuss ongoing mental health projects or research. These groups are usually made up of around 10-15 young people with different backgrounds, lived experiences and skills.

YPAGs are formed for a variety of reasons and their make-up can differ quite a lot, depending on why the YPAG was formed.

Being involved in a YPAG is very different from taking part in a research project. To see an example of how a YPAG has been involved in mental health research before at McPin, click here.


  • Be aged 16-26
  • Have lived experience of mental health issues – ideally self-harm or suicidal thoughts
  • Have experience of accessing mental health services – ideally A&E and/or crisis team care
  • Access to a stable internet connection (if you have any concerns about this, please get in touch as we do have funds which can assist with digital costs)
  • Access to a camera to join online meetings with video. For safety, all of our online meetings require people to have their video on, if you have any worries about this please do email and we discuss what support we have to help with this.


  • Before joining the group, we will offer you a call with a member of McPin staff. Nothing scary! This is purely so you can meet us, ask us any questions, and for us to ask you about any accessibility needs, or any support you need from us. In this call we will ask for a form of age verification, a document with your photo, name and date of birth. This could be a passport, Student ID card, voter ID, access card, drivers’ licence, proof of age card etc. If you have any worries about not having an appropriate document, please reach out and one of our team can support!

  • You will be paid £50 for each 2 hour online meeting that you attend, which includes any work to help you prepare for the meeting.
  • For optional work in between meetings, we currently offer a paid rate of £25.
  • We will talk to you before you join the group about anything we may be able to do to support you during the project.
  • We can make reasonable adjustments where needed, for example, you may want to send us a voice note with your answer to questions rather than typing answers.
  • You will have a McPin contact (Emma) that you can contact at any point throughout the project for questions and support.

If you are interested in this opportunity, please email [email protected] with brief answers to the following questions:

Please subject your email: SASH Study

  1. What is your name?
  2. What is your date of birth?
  3. Why are you interested in this specific opportunity?
  4. Please give details of any relevant experience as specified in the ‘what’s required of me’ section.
  5. Sometimes after talking about topics like mental health, people feel they need a little extra support or someone to chat to. What support do you currently have in place (e.g. supportive friends, family, health professionals or mental health charities)? Is there anything that McPin could do to support you or make your involvement experience better?
  6. How did you hear about this opportunity?

You are welcome to send your responses in audio or video format if preferred! If you need any help completing your expression of interest, you can get in touch with Emma.

5pm Friday 7th June 2024

Please note that the McPin Foundation regularly promotes opportunities on behalf of other institutions; we are not responsible for the continuation or contents of further correspondence with any project partners where we are not listed as the project main point of contact.

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