Forty percent of Norwegian adolescents report mental health problems that affect their everyday life. Eight percent have been diagnosed with a mental health condition. Only half of those who struggle with mental health problems have been in touch with the healthcare services.
The InvolveMENT research project aims to contribute to improve the quality of the healthcare services in order to strengthen adolescents’ health and to prevent mental health conditions. The seminar for adolescents in September is part of the efforts to reach this aim.
How can we reduce stigma associated with mental health?
The seminar raises the question of what we can do to reduce stigma associated with mental health. This includes presentations by adolescents, organisations for mental health and healthcare practitioners. They will raise issues such as being along with mental problems, “coming out of the closet”, and refugees’ mental health.
Teenage participants are encouraged to participate actively with questions during presentations and to state their opinion through an anonymous internet-based too. All participants can bring their mobile telephones. The InvolveMENT-team also encourages the participants to bring what they learn back to their classrooms, in order to inform peer students and to continue discussions to strengthen openness and knowledge about mental health.
Teenagers involved in the research
Twelve adolescents and youths are actively involved as representatives and co-researchers in the project. Researchers will collect adolescents’ input throughout the seminar in order to develop recommendations for what teenagers, parents, teachers and healthcare practitioners can do in order to reduce stigma associated with mental health. We are using the information in our research and will publish articles in scientific journals. Participants’ and the schools’ identity will remain anonymous.
Some University employees will participate as observers, in order to consider how knowledge and input from the teenagers can be integrated in the University’s Bachelor and Master programs.
Norwegian Association of Youth Mental Health (Mental Helse Ungdom)
The Change Factory (Forandringsfabrikken)
Sander Olsen, Youth County Council Mayor
Steinar Berg, musician
The Research Centre SHARE at the University of Stavanger