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Children and Young People's Learning and Improvement Event - participant information

Always the Right Door – making it easier for children and young people to get support for mental health

How we would like to hear your story

Introduction: Always the Right Door is an event aimed at making it easier for young people to get support for mental health. An important part of the event will be for everyone to learn from personal stories and insights related to mental health challenges faced by children, young people and families. We want to create space for you to share your stories, so that you are part of a joint effort to improve understanding and services. Your unique perspective can inspire positive change and improvement in mental health support.

We want to help and support you to tell your story in a way feels comfortable for you. We would like to work with you before the event to capture your story and then make sure you're happy with the way it will be presented. This brief outlines the different ways you can get involved and provides a list of questions for you to consider.

Forms of storytelling: There are examples of how you could share below, but you can tell us if you have different ideas too:

  1. Film interview: In this approach we will travel to a location of your choice (where feasible) and film an interview with yourself, allowing you to share your story. This film will then be shown at the conference on the 25th October to the audience. The questions we will ask can be seen below. This is an example of a film interview
  2. Audio interview: Similar to the film interview but we will only record your voice as you tell your story. This will be more like a podcast or radio interview that will be played on the 25th October. You may want to choose an image that could be shown whilst your audio is shown.
  3. Written with animation: You may wish to write your story down rather than speaking or being filmed. In this case we can use the text you have written and feed it into a motion graphics animation. We can also have someone else read out your story should you wish.
  4. Show, not tell film: In this example we can come out and either take a picture or short video of you holding up a series of signs that tell your story. If you would not like to be photographed of filmed, we can arrange for someone else to hold up your signs.
  5. Panel of experts: On the day of the summit, we’re looking for people to be part of a panel of people who can give their views because of their   experiences – we will call this a panel of experts by experience. If you would like help to write some key messages to share, we can support you to do this.
  6. Display: If you would prefer to put your experience on paper, whether that is in writing or through art, we can display this on 25th October. If you would like help to capture it in writing, we can work with you to do this.

Approval: We will not share anything you share with us unless you're happy for us to do so. You will receive a copy of your story for your to approval. If you have said anything that you are no longer comfortable with, we can remove it. It is absolutely fine to change your mind and anything you wish to take out can be removed prior to the event. If you decide you no longer want your interview or material to be shown at the event, this can also be removed from the conference agenda.

The first aim is to share your stories at the event. With your permission, we would also like to share them with the project group who are professionals from the NHS and wider mental health services to children and families. The project group have arranged this event to help them work together to promote emotional and mental health and wellbeing for every child and young person and make changes to improve the help and support available. You will also have the option to share your story more widely, if that is what you would like to do. For example, as part of a post-event report online or to senior managers in the NHS so that they can learn from your experiences and make improvements. However, you will be asked for your permission at every stage, and nothing will be shared that you are not comfortable with.  

You can ask us to delete your story at any time by contacting nencicbcu.learningandimprovementcommunity@nhs.net or if you have been working with an organisation to support you to share your story, they can ask them to contact us on your behalf.

Length of stories: You may find that although your interview may last 20 minutes, we will need to edit it to just a couple of minutes for the event. There are so many important stories to share and we want to hear as many different voices as possible from across the North East and North Cumbria. To do this, we may have to cut down on the length of some of our interviews. At the end of the interview, we will ask you what specific points you want the audience to take away, so that everyone at the event hears what is most important to you once it is edited. Your longer interview can be shared with the project group to make sure everything you say is heard, if you give your permission.  

Pre-event interview questions: To help you prepare for your storytelling, consider these guiding questions in preparation for any pre-event interviews or recordings:

These are just examples:

  1. What motivated you to share your mental health journey at this event?
  2. Could you briefly describe your mental health journey, including significant challenges and turning points?
  3. How have your experiences shaped your understanding of children and young people's mental health needs?
  4. What support systems, resources, or strategies have been most helpful to you during your journey?
  5. What lessons have you learned that you believe could contribute to improving mental health support for children and young people?
  6. How do you envision your story making a positive impact or inspiring change in the field of mental health?
  7. Are there specific messages or insights you hope the audience will take away from your story? Or which areas are you most comfortable with being shown?

How stories will be chosen: We want to make sure that all of your stories influence future services but we will be limited to how many we can show on the day. Stories will be chosen to cover different types of mental health support in health services and in school across the North East and North Cumbria. We will include things that are working well as well as those that need to improve. If your story can’t be shown in the way you would first choose, we will speak to you about whether it can be used in different ways. For example, we may be able to include it in a display on the day, share it with the project group or share in other ways to promote understanding of children and young people's mental health. Of course, you will be in control of how and where anything is shared.

How to get involved: If you are interested in telling your story, we will start by talking to you about what you consent to and what your boundaries are. You can speak with the organisation who shared this information, via email  nencicbcu.learningandimprovementcommunity@nhs.net or phone 01768 639320. If you are under 16, you will need consent from a parent or guardian.

Conclusion: Your participation in Always the Right Door is a valuable contribution to the collective effort to enhance mental health understanding and support. By sharing your personal journey, you play a crucial role in fostering empathy, driving change, and promoting the well-being of children and young people. Your story matters, and we look forward to seeing or hearing from you and working with your to improve Children and Young People's Mental Health support across our region. .

If you require this information in an alternative format such as easy read, large text, braille or an alternative language please contact nencicbcu.learningandimprovementcommunity@nhs.net,  or phone 01768 639320

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