‘Born to Change’ World Café Research Event was held in Donegal on Thursday to engage young people so that they can help inform the planning and delivery of mental health services in the HSE CHO Area 1.
Over 200 young people along with representatives from community/voluntary and statutory agencies as well as HSE representatives attended the event on 10th of May 2018 in Radisson Hotel Letterkenny, Co. Donegal.
This event was developed and facilitated by young people for young people across counties of Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo in collaboration with community/voluntary groups and the HSE.
The purpose of the event was to engage young people so that they can help inform the planning and delivery of mental health services. The event aimed to determine the needs of youth across the five counties of Community Healthcare Organisation Area 1 (CHO1) including those who are marginalised and to effectively and meaningfully engage with them in planning and informing communities and services for young people.
Enabling their voices to be heard and their experiences both good and bad to be shared in order to help services and communities to change with and be informed by the needs and the experiences of our young people.
International research highlights the real and evident need for services focused on marginalised young people. Young people, such as those who are not in school, college, training or employment. Young people who are isolated and impacted on by rurality and lack of investment and infrastructure, and who may be engaged in risky behaviour, also suffering marginalisation leading to a lack of direction and identity thereby affecting their sense of self awareness, esteem and ability to achieve their full potential.
This is one of the most important events in CHO Area 1 in 2018 as it will inform how we, services and agencies, professionals and our communities listen to our young people and how we change in response to what they say. More importantly it lays the foundation for increased health and personal collective wellbeing in the communities of our future as our youth is our future. The motto for today was: Let’s hear, Let’s listen and let’s make changes.
One of the young people speaking at the event Anthony Foy explained why he felt it was important “Born to Change I believe is worthwhile because it is an opportunity for young people to get their voices heard and for real change to happen”.
‘Born to Change’ was organised as part of a wider project, under the Service Reform Fund “Progressing Mental Health Services” which identifies a number of themes based on engagement with young people, service users, family members and carers to inform the development of mental health services across for the next three years, ‘Born to Change’ brings together young people from all across CHO1. Key to the event were the themes for discussion that the young people themselves identified and agreed as being important to them in progressing their positive mental health and wellbeing. These included:
· I have a voice
· Respect me and what I say
· Listen to my story and hear my hopes
· I have a voice, my experience and opinion is important
Rosaline Keenan, Senior Manager Performance and Service Innovation, CHO 1 Mental Health Services commented “This event is the start of a process the learning from which will help us to achieve our goals to empower and enable young people to inform what services and communities can do and change, and in so doing will provide an important, valuable and real insight into what is done well, what can be done better, and what else needs to be done!”
This event was funded by the Health Service Executive.