NIHR CRN: Mental Health, National Young People’s Mental Health Advisory Group

Group type: 3. Institution or initiative-specific

Contact details

Named contact: Megan Rees

Email address:

Telephone: 020 7848 0643


Mental health Service Users in Research

Institute of Psychiatry

PO77, De Crespigny Park



Remit of the group

Mental health specific

Frequency of meetings

Once every 6 weeks (approx.)

Who can consult the group?

Researchers with projects relating to mental health and in particular young people’s mental health and the Department of Health



No formal reports.

More about the group (optional)

The Young People’s group was established in February 2014. Up until this point, the CRN: Mental Health (formerly the Mental Health Research Network) had really struggled to involve young people in research and in turn, struggled to support researchers to gain appropriate PPI for this area of research. The CRN: Mental Health has an England wide community of 1500 service users and carers, the vast majority of which are over the age of 25.

The Group itself is made up of fourteen 16-24 year olds with either direct or indirect (family members) experience of mental health issues. Members come from across England and have a wide range of experiences and interests.

Meetings are held approximately once every 6 weeks in London. All travel expenses and attendance fees are covered by the CRN: Mental Health.

Apart from our first two meetings, which primarily focused on introductions and training in research methodology, the meetings generally follow a similar layout. Meetings are 4 hours in length and usually comprise of three 1 hour sessions, plus lunch and break. We usually hold the first hour to discuss Group business such as strategies to involve more young people, etc. We invite researchers to attend the other 2 slots and discuss their studies with the Group in order to get feedback.

The main objectives of the Group are to:

  • act as the main point of contact for researchers seeking service user and carer advice on studies relating to young people
  • promote the young service user/carer perspective in mental health research and the work of the CRN: Mental Health
  • identify and share good practice in service user and carer involvement
  • produce and review pieces of work that benefit the CRN: Mental Health
  • construct innovative ideas and initiatives that involve young service users and carers
  • collaborate with the wider NIHR family and charities on specific projects.