Institute for Mental Health Youth Advisory Group

The Youth Advisory Group (YAG) works with the Institute for Mental Health to create, shape and challenge research into youth mental health.  

The YAG is made up of 18 young people aged between 18-25 with experience of or a strong interest in youth mental health.  Members are paid, and take part in monthly meetings to discuss research ideas, contributing to work on research grants and taking part in training.  

The YAG have taken part in a range of activities including:


Shaping research

  • Conducting one-to-one consultations with researchers about their proposed research.
  • Producing a Primary Care training video with best practice guidance for GPs interacting with young people.
  • Co-producing a book chapter on youth participation in mental health service design
  • Participating in discussions at the IMH Research Strategy Meetings
  • Contributing to the development of the new MSc in Mental Health programme.

Wider collaboration

  • Contributing to discussions at a 2-day meeting for the Lancet Commission on Global Youth Mental Health in July 2019.
  • Attending the NIHR INVOLVE Children and Young People’s Event in November 2019.
  • Attending social events such as “Blue Orange” at the Birmingham REP, TEDxYouthBrum and HEADSPVCE by Beatfreeks.
  • Writing articles for the Institute for Mental Health blog and coordinating ‘social media takeover’ with live tweets at events.

Speaking and presenting

  • Introducing keynote speakers at the Institute for Mental Health Inaugural Forum in October 2018.
  • Presenting at key events such as the National Suicide Prevention Alliance Annual Meeting in September 2019 and the HSBC – Birmingham Children’s Hospital – University of Birmingham ‘Anti-bullying partnership’ launch event in November 2019.
  • Participating in a Q&A panel session ‘Where’s my story’ – An event hosted by the Shakespeare Institute at the Royal Shakespeare Company in May 2019 to discuss the impact of representation in theatre on young people’s mental health.
  • Co-delivering a workshop ‘Youth Involvement in Mental Health Research’ at the Launch of the Institute for Mental Health and Centre for Human Brain Health in September 2019.
  • Co-delivering a lecture an ‘Introduction to CAMHS’ seminar to University of Birmingham nursing students in November 2019.


We are continually seeking opportunities for wider engagement with young people by exploring potential collaborative partnerships with Birmingham-based youth engagement organisations, and establishing a larger online presence within the youth community through social media.

The Youth Advisory Group are an integral part of the IMH team and we are incredibly proud of the work they do.  We work hard to ensure that the work the Youth Advisory Group do is meaningful and worthwhile, provide feedback on the outcomes that result from their involvement in our activities and support them with key skills such as presentation, communication and research knowledge.