There is an international drive to improve mental health services for young people. This study aims to investigate service user experience of a youth mental health service in Norfolk, UK. In addition to suggesting improvements to this service, recommendations are made for the development of youth mental health services in general.
A mixed-methods approach was used. Quantitative data from satisfaction questionnaires were analysed using descriptive statistics and compared between two time points. A semi-structured interview was used to generate qualitative data. Thematic analysis was used to identify themes in the interview transcripts and triangulation was used to synthesise quantitative and qualitative data.
Service users appeared satisfied with the service. Significant improvements in satisfaction were found between two time points. Qualitative analysis identified three main themes that were important to service users, including support, information and personhood.
Recommendations for the development of youth mental health services are provided. Although these are based on findings from the Norfolk youth service, they are likely to apply to other mental health services for young people.
Mental health care for young people requires significant improvement. The Norfolk youth service is one of the first services of its kind in the UK. The findings from this study might be helpful to consider in the development of youth mental health services across the world.
The authors would like to thank the participants who took part in this study. They would also like to thank members of the Norfolk youth service council who provided guidance on the content and structure of the semi-structured interview.
Heavens, D., Hodgekins, J., Lower, R., Spauls, J., Carroll, B., Gee, B., Clarke, T. and Wilson, J. (2020), "Service user experience of the Norfolk youth service", Mental Health Review Journal, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 85-98. https://doi.org/10.1108/MHRJ-03-2019-0008
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