Co-design of services; The Stirling Story

The Children and Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce was created to re-examine our whole approach to mental health services for children and young people across Scotland. The Taskforce know that there is a lot of work to be done to develop a blueprint for how services and surrounding support can better meet the changing needs of children and young people. 

The Taskforce are keen to hear about how some organisations across Scotland are currently delivering innovative and creative mental health services for children and young people in their local communities. The Taskforce want to highlight areas of innovation so that good ideas can be shared and organisations can learn from each other about what works in different communities.

The Taskforce invited Morven Graham to come along to the January meeting to talk about how Stirling Council are working to improve children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing in their area. Morven is the Principal Educational Psychologist in Stirling Council.

Morven told the Taskforce that Stirling Council have created a team called a Steering Group, which is made up of professionals from education, health, social work and the third sector. The Steering Group has an overview of all the different mental health work that is going on in Stirling. In future, the Steering Group will also include people from Skills Development Scotland, Active Stirling, Adult Services and hopefully a young person’s representative and a parent representative. 

Morven presented some of the ways that Stirling Council are working alongside young people, listening to the things that matter to them. A mental health survey has been sent to all of Stirling’s primary and secondary schools to gather the opinions of staff. Stirling Council also held some events for young people. One of these events was called ‘The Gathering’, which was led by the Youth Participation Team. 

The event identified that mental health is one of the key concerns of Stirling’s young people. 

Stirling Council also ran an event called ‘Just Breathe’, which was planned and designed by young people, for young people, on exploring key topics on mental health. You can watch a video about the Just Breathe event below.

The Taskforce were very interested to hear about how Stirling Council have been working along with young people in co-producing events, doing research and working with Civtech[ on developing a technological solution to help young people access mental health support online.   

The Taskforce want to make co-production by children and young people a central part of their work.  This is vital to understanding how services can be improved for every child and young person in Scotland. The Taskforce asked Morven lots of questions about how Stirling Council had run the events, what the outcomes were from the events, and how they had made sure that lots of children and young people had a chance, not only to participate, but to work alongside adults to help start the conversation about mental health. 

The Taskforce were told about some other examples of work undertaken by Stirling young people in a co-production process: 

1. The CivTech Project, which you can find out about here.

2. The Stirling Young People’s Wellbeing Group, which you can find out about here

3. Wallace High School, which you can find out about here.

Morven finished by telling the taskforce that the Stirling Council Steering Group have lots of plans about how to continue to improve children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing in Stirling. 

She highlighted that prevention and early intervention are key to the work of Stirling Council, as well as strengthening partnerships with people who work in social work, healthcare, charities and other organisations. 

The Taskforce very much enjoyed hearing from Morven about the work currently taking place in Stirling and took away some great ideas about how to make sure children and young people are involved in co-designing their mental health services. 

The Taskforce would like to thank Morven and her colleagues at Stirling Council for sharing their experiences and ideas. For further information, please contact Morven via twitter @stirlingedpsych or get in touch with the Taskforce. 

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