We are working together with Cambridge University to research mental health needs of young people with social care involvement. As part of this work, we are looking at the support provided to young people who have suicidal thoughts.

We are trying to learn more about the experiences of suicidal thoughts and self-harm among adults with a history of social care involvement to better understand how services can adapt to better meet the needs of social care-experienced young people who are experiencing self-harm or suicidal thoughts.

We would love for you to help us if you:

1. Are between 18-30 years old

2. Have had experience of social care involvement before the age of 18

3. Have had experience of suicidal thoughts or self-harm before the age of 18

4. Not currently experiencing suicidal thoughts or issues with self-harm

If I decide to take part, what will happen?

During the interview

If you want to take part, you will be asked to sign a consent form we will give you a copy of your signed form to keep. You can choose to do your interview by video call, in person, or the telephone. The interview will take about 1.5 hours. You will have the opportunity to speak for longer than this period if you wish to. We would like to ask you about experiences you may have had with self-harm or suicidal thoughts before the age of 18. In particular, we’re interested to hear about your life around the time of these difficulties, and any factors that you felt were either helpful or unhelpful for your mental health, including involvement with mental health services and Children’s Social Care. We are interested to learn about your experiences to help improve services for young people in the future.

After the interview

We would like to follow up with you after the interview by phone call to see how you’re doing. If you are agreeable to this, you can indicate in your consent form at what time points, if any, you’d like us to check-in. We’d also like to provide some additional material and signposting to relevant services after the interview. If you’re agreeable to this, you can indicate this in the consent form.

How can we help make participation easier?

If you would like to use a language other than English in the interview let us know and we can arrange this. You are welcome to have a friend, or trusted person with you during the interview. If you need us to arrange childcare so that you can take part in the interview, please let us know, and we can help organise and fund this.

Do I have to take part?

Taking part in this research is entirely voluntary. You can opt out at any point. You also have the right to withdraw any audio recordings/transcripts once you have taken part up until the point that all the data has been anonymized.

Benefits of taking part

As a thank you for taking part, you will receive a £75 love to shop voucher. You will still receive the £75 voucher if you decide to withdraw from the study after the interview. We cannot promise the study will help you directly, but the information we collect may be able to improve services for young people in the future. We hope that you might find it helpful to talk about your experiences to someone who is completely separate from your situation.

We recognise that talking about these issues could be challenging. The research team are very experienced in supporting people to participate in this type of research. There is support available and you will be able to take part in the interview at your own pace.

For more information contact Barry Coughlan bc471@medschl.cam.ac.uk

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