Using a creative design process with young people to develop an appropriate and accessible youth mental health service: A design brief from an early-lab field trip

Presentation First Author: 
Timothy Clarke

Rationale: The need to further develop innovative, appropriate and accessible mental health services for young people is essential, as it is suggested that traditional service designs are not adequate. Creative solutions to implementing service models designed by young people for young people are encouraged. The creative design process may be a suitable method to actively engage young people in creating a vision of mental health services based on lived experience. Objectives: Members of the Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust (NSFT) youth council and study team will present a design brief and creative outputs (including stop-motion video) of a week-long field trip aimed to create and develop a vision for local youth mental health services that could improve access and experience. Methods: NSFT youth council members commissioned and collaborated with the 'Early-lab' team of students from the University of the Arts London (UAL) on a week-long field trip in Norfolk, UK. A variety of creative design and art techniques were used including stop-motion animation, storyboarding, 3D data visualisation and asset mapping in a succession of workshops devoted to making physical objects. These methods allowed youth council members to author stories exploring lived, as well as ideal and desired experiences of accessing youth mental health services. Creative workshops for healthcare providers, facilitated by the UAL Early-lab design team, also informed the process. Practice/Policy Implications: By engaging in a creative design process, defined by imagination cut loose from constraint, it meant that innovative ideas relating to improved access to services were formulated. It is suggested that healthcare providers use such techniques and this design brief to further inform youth mental health services. Conclusion: Using a creative design process in collaboration with young people and healthcare professionals facilitates the design of service provision; provides solutions to improving experience and access to services; and informs local strategy that the youth council, representing those with lived experience of services, have a sense of ownership over.

Conference Name: 
Date of Presentation: 
9th Oct 2015
Type of presentation: 
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