Establishing research uncertainties in child and youth mental health

Helping to provide evidence to support health decisions about children and young people’s mental health is a major priority for Cochrane Common Mental Disorders.

Over the next five years we will expand the number of reviews we publish that tackle questions about children and young people’s mental health. To do this we have set up a satellite of our Cochrane Review Group focused on Children and Young People’s Mental Health, which is based at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Our satellite is led by our joint Co-ordinating Editor Sarah Hetrick. Sarah is working with a team of experienced editors who are specialists in Youth Mental Health. 

But we want our new reviews to be shaped by young people and people who work and support children and young people with lived experience of mental health difficulties. To help to achieve this we have planned a series of priority setting activities over the next two years to co-produce, with young people, the questions our reviews ask. 

To start this process, we are currently encouraging young people over 16, and anyone who supports young people’s mental health, to complete a short anonymous survey. The online survey is part of a priority setting project being funded by a catalyst grant from the Royal Society Te Apārangi and led by the University of Auckland, in collaboration with Orygen - the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health (an affiliate of the University of Melbourne), the University of Otago, and Cochrane Common Mental Disorders (based at the University of York). 

Through the online survey, we aim to identify issues and gaps in our understanding of how to support children and youth to flourish by identifying areas where research evidence is required to support their wellbeing. It will specifically explore potential approaches to address these challenges and identify important outcomes that we should measure to assess if these approaches work or not. This will shape the reviews our Group publishes in the future. 

The people we are inviting to participate in our survey may be:

  • a young person with or without lived experience of mental health difficulties; or, 
  • a carer/family member of a young person with lived experience of mental health difficulties; or, 
  • a healthcare professional or a community based organisation working to support the wellbeing of young people; or,
  • a healthcare professional or a community based organisation working to support the wellbeing of young people from indigenous populations (e.g. Māori and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island young people).

You can complete the survey here and please help us share and spread the word about the survey through your social media channels. 

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