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Young people review counselling services resource

5 May 2022

a group of young people laughing in a circle wearing bright colours

The Wolfson Centre Youth Advisors offer feedback on a new resource to share information on counselling services in Wales.

Researchers from DECIPHer and the Wolfson Centre for Young People’s Mental Health recently prepared a report on behalf of Welsh Government on the statutory school and community-based youth counselling services in Wales. The report, Review of school and community-based counselling services, made recommendations on optimising those services for children and young people.

The research team are now in the process of drafting a supporting youth summary resource as part of the report’s dissemination plans.  A draft of the youth summary resource was shown to the Wolfson Centre’s Youth Advisory Groups during their recent March meeting.

The youth advisors offered their feedback on making the information as engaging and useful as possible for children and young people. They shared their thoughts on the resource’s content and appearance, as well as suggestions on how the information might be disseminated effectively to reach young people directly.

Dr Gillian Hewitt, who created the draft youth summary, said: “We wanted to create a resource that would summarise the key findings and information from the full report in an accessible way for young people. The best way to do this was to hear from young people themselves.

“It was great to hear the thoughts of the Wolfson Centre’s Youth Advisors. The young people shared incredibly helpful ideas on the content of the draft resource and offered creative thoughts on how to make sure the resource is eye-catching and accessible for our target audience. They also shared really helpful ideas on ways of ensuring this resource gets in front of youngsters, such as in school assemblies and via youth groups, as well as online.”

Youth Advisor quote reviewing counsellor services

Nathan, one of the Wolfson Centre Youth Advisors, added: “I thoroughly enjoy the sessions that involve chowing down on some impactful research, asking the important questions and directly informing the subsequent practises going forward.

"We know that dissemination is becoming increasingly important and it is such a privilege to play a part in it. I’m also really proud of the group for their creative contributions and their inspiring passion for improving the mental health outcomes of our future generations!”

Rouhma, another Wolfson Centre Youth Advisor, said: "This opportunity allowed me to express my own graphic design and advertising psychology skills to help innovate some ideas on how to improve the report's content and appearance."

Emma Meilak, the Wolfson Centre’s Public Involvement Officer, who facilitates the Youth Advisory Groups, said: “Our Youth Advisors rose to the challenge of analysing their first research-based summary. As always, the young people brought enthusiasm and creativity to the task, offering really valuable insight for the researchers to take away and try to incorporate into their plans as the resource develops.”

Dr Hewitt concluded: “The young people have given us a lot to think about as we continue to work on making this resource the best it can be. I’m looking forward to coming back to the groups again soon and providing an update on the impact their advice has had in making this youth summary resource a reality.”

The full Welsh Government report, Review of school and community-based counselling services, is available to view online.

The accessible summary the youth advisors helped review, School and community counselling services for children and young people in Wales: Are they working well and how can they be improved?,is also now available online.

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