Late childhood to early adulthood is a vulnerable period for the onset of long-term physical and mental health conditions. It is also a period of increased risk for the development of harmful health behaviours. In addition, this period is marked by significant life changes. These include the transition from child and adolescent to adult health services, moving out of home for the first time, and going to university or beginning employment. It is for these reasons that we, at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, have developed a project dedicated to improving the health of young people.
The HYPE Project is a recruitment, risk assessment and resource platform that aims to facilitate young people’s involvement in research, improve our understanding of problems affecting young people’s heath, and improve access to online health and social care related resources. The HYPE Project is supported by the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre.
The project is run in collaboration with young people. We have consulted with a local Young People’s Mental Health Advisory Group as well as with our newly established HYPE Youth Advisory Panel on the project aims and design. Young people involved in the project can get involved in a range of activities, including co-creating our Beyond the HYPE Podcast and helping us present the project at conferences. By doing this, we want to empower young people to pursue a career in science and acknowledge the importance of research.
We have created and continually work to improve a website, where young people can sign up to take part in an online survey. Questions asked gather information about sociodemographic characteristics (e.g. age, gender, ethnicity), work, school and neighbourhood experiences, health behaviours and wellbeing, life events, help-seeking, and health service use. The HYPE website also offers a range of resources that young people can use for free. These include signposting to relevant services and organisations, self-help materials, and information about local activities and events. Anyone can use the resources, regardless of whether they take part in the survey or not. As part of HYPE, young people may consent to be re-contacted about future research and activities as well as a follow-up survey which includes questions about their experience of using the website and resources. Data collected through both the main survey and the evaluation survey will be used for research purposes as well as to inform the development of online resources and improve the online platform.
We aim to create a community of young people who will regularly engage in research and help inform new interventions. Contact us about how the HYPE resource platform may be able to help you in your current or future research.
We are using this blog to help connect stakeholders across Higher Education interested in student mental health. If you have a project you are working on or an idea you'd like to develop, why not write your own blog post for us?