Guest Writer! Right Here volunteer Dakota writes about her experience researching, collecting & presenting information surrounding mental health and GP’s…

At the end of 2011 Right Here Campaign Volunteers consulted over 170 young people in Brighton & Hove about their experiences of visiting their GP. Over the past few months we have been working relentlessly on bring together all of the data, results and information we collected from focus groups, surveys and case studies.The research we collected investigated areas which included: how comfortable an individual would feel talking about emotional and mental issues with a GP, confidentiality, what makes a good/bad GP and / or GP service, and any suggestions or changes a GP/ GP amenities could make to improve their service to young people in Brighton & Hove.

We wrote up this research and put it into a long and detailed report hoping that it in some way it could influence GP services to change for the better for young people in Brighton & Hove. In particular regarding the services provided for young people’s mental and emotional wellbeing. On the 10th April 2012 our moment came when we presented our findings to an audience comprised of GP’s, members of the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Engagement and equalities staff, Local Involvement Network, Representative from the Office of the Children’s Commissioner and members of the Voluntary Sector who were all interested in our research and how it might help advance GP services for young people in Brighton & Hove.

It’s fair to say we were all incredibly nervous as we were presenting to around twenty (very professional) looking people who are all very involved in the running of GP services in Brighton & Hove; but thanks to our coordinator support, our rehearsal time and our PowerPoint everything went incredibly smoothly.

Everyone presented their individual sections brilliantly as well as answering any questions asked incredibly well. To our delight we were extremely well received! All the attendees listened intently to our half an hour presentation, where we shared our aims and objectives of the research (and the planning!); the key issues and recommendations found from our research and finally our wish list for what we hoped to come from this meeting.

Everyone there was so nice and they were all genuinely very interested in our research and had ideas of how they could work with Right Here and us to improve GP services. After our presentation had ended we stayed for at least another half an hour discussing future action plans and points of focus as well as discussing key issues surrounding service provision for young people in Brighton & Hove.

The future looks bright for our project.

Although the data has all be collected and recorded there’s still so much to do. Firstly over the summer we will be producing a film to raise awareness around young people’s right and confidentiality when they go to their GP. The CCG have committed to help us with its development and distribution. We will also be working with a few practices as consultants around the display of information of young people and discussing a short training session for practice staff around young people’s issues. These are our initial actions but there are many more in the pipeline.

Are you 16-25? Volunteer with Right here a be part of important research and ideas that change mental health services in Brighton and Hove.

Jasmine Hetherington-Wilkes

Jasmine Hetherington-Wilkes has blogged 50 posts

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