Young people experience one of the highest rates of mental health problems of any group, but make the least use of the support available to them. To reach young people in distress, we need to understand what this digital generation want from mental health professionals and services.
Based on interviews with nearly 400 young people, this book offers a vision of youth mental health issues and services through the eyes of young people themselves. It offers professionals important insights into the meaning of identity and agency for this generation and explores how these issues play out in young people’s expectations of mental health support. It shows how, despite young people’s immersion in digital technology, genuine and trusting relationships remain a key ingredient in their priorities for support. It considers what access to mental health support means for a generation who have grown up with the immediacy enabled by digital technology. Young people’s accounts also provide crucial insights into how they are using digital resources to manage their own mental health – in ways often not appreciated by professionals who design internet interventions.
What Young People Want From Mental Health Services offers clear guidance to counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists, youth workers, social workers, service providers and policymakers about how to work with youth and design their services so they are a better match for young people today. It contributes to a growing movement calling for a ‘Youth Informed Approach’ to mental health to address the needs of young people.