To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Setting up a youth violence prevention project in a London hospital emergency department

Yael llan‐Clarke (Research Associate at the Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS), Kingston University, Kingston, UK)
Amanda Bunn (Research Consultant at the Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS), Kingston University, Kingston, UK)
Jeffrey DeMarco (PhD student in the Department of Criminology/Sociology at Royal Holloway, University of London, London, UK)
Antonia Bifulco (Professor of Lifespan Psychology and Social Science Lifespan Research at the Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS), Kingston University, London, UK)
John Criddle (Paediatric Emergency Medicine Consultant in the Paediatric Accident and Emergency Department at Guy's and St Thomas. Hospital, London, UK)
Gillian Holdsworth (Consultant in Public Health Medicine at the Department of Public Health, NHS Southwark, NHS South East London, London, UK)

Journal of Public Mental Health

ISSN: 1746-5729

Article publication date: 21 June 2013

Abstract

Purpose

Youth violence victimisation impacts on health, mental health and future risk trajectories. A London hospital emergency department (ED) outreach youth service provides a unique intervention opportunity to support adolescents involved in violence. The purpose of this paper is to describe the set‐up of the service.

Design/methodology/approach

Young people (YP) targeted were aged 12‐18, from two London boroughs and attended ED with injuries from a violent incident. They were referred to Oasis youth workers for a mentoring/youth work intervention. Lifestyle and symptom scales were used to assess risk profile. Hospital staff questionnaires determined service awareness in the first six months, and interviews/focus group identified potential barriers to service uptake.

Findings

By 12 months, the service was operating smoothly. Of the first 505 YP attending ED, a third were referred, a third ineligible and a third non‐contactable/refused. Detailed analysis of the first 30 attending found most were male (87 per cent), equal White or Black ethnicity (40 per cent) with 20 per cent “Other” ethnicities, with only a third living with both biological parents. This was similar to the full population attending. Nearly half (49 per cent) had been assaulted, 30 per cent had injuries self‐generated through poor anger management, the remainder injured in fighting. Over half (57 per cent) had disorder, mostly behavioural, correlated with lifestyle risk scores. Barriers to service use/implementation included YP mistrust and fear of reprisals, problems with service visibility in the busy hospital environment and ineffective staff communication with YP, all countered during the running of the service. Gauging outcome at follow‐up is the second evaluation stage.

Originality/value

The youth violence project is an important initiative for intervention in youth violence.

Keywords

Citation

llan‐Clarke, Y., Bunn, A., DeMarco, J., Bifulco, A., Criddle, J. and Holdsworth, G. (2013), "Setting up a youth violence prevention project in a London hospital emergency department", Journal of Public Mental Health, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 80-92. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPMH-09-2012-0005

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited