We are a group of 16-25 year olds with lived experience of using mental health services, or caring for someone who has used these services. We meet every six to eight weeks and invite researchers or research teams who would like our advice and support to come and discuss their projects.

We were founded in January 2014 by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Clinical Research Network: Mental Health, and are now hosted and funded by the Service User Research Enterprise (SURE) and NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London. We were established in light of increasing awareness of the importance of service user involvement in research, and our main aims are to:

  • Act as a point of contact for researchers seeking Patient and Carer Involvement and Engagement (PCIE) on studies relating to young people.
  • Raise the profile of research into young people’s mental health.
  • Promote the young service user/carer perspective in mental health research.
  • Identify and share good practice in service user and carer involvement
  • Collaborate with the wider NIHR family and charities on specific projects.

In addition to our meetings, we regularly present on our work at conferences nationwide. We have also participated in and hosted our own events, including a mental health awareness event held at The British Library,  and the annual Youth Takeover Challenge.