07 December 2022

Young People’s Participation and Mental Health

Young People’s Participation and Mental Health: A Protocol for Practitioners supports individual and organizational capacities to safeguard the mental health and psychosocial well-being of young people in participation processes, to ensure young people’s meaningful participation across programming, research, advocacy and communications. Developed by UNICEF's Adolescent Development and Participation team, the resource is intended for use by all individuals (including young people themselves) who plan or implement participatory processes with young people -- not only those in the mental health field.  The Protocol takes users through Stepping Stones: Stepping Stone 1: Self-Reflect helps individuals become more aware of power relations, assumptions and biases concerning young people, mental health and diversity. Stepping Stone 2: Assess Resources and Capacities allows users to reflect upon whether sufficient time and resources are allocated for safe and meaningful participation– and how to proceed if not. Stepping Stone 3: Identify Risks, Harms and Benefits of Participation offers questions, a risk assessment format, and an activity to identify and assess risks, harms and benefits Stepping Stone 4: Mitigate Risks and Harms and Strengthen Support Systems provides questions, ideas for risk mitigation actions, and an activity to mitigate risks/harms and strengthen support systems. Stepping Stone 5: Follow Up and Monitor Outcomes supports monitoring of intended and unintended outcomes of participation.                                                                                                                                                                                              The resource is available in digital format, here