Today was a very special meeting as we joined up with the Mental Health YPAG group!
First, we met with representatives from the Oxford Cognitive Health Clinical Research Facility. A Clinical Research Facility (CRF) is a dedicated space where experimental medicine research studies are conducted. In Oxford we have a cognitive health CRF, which provides scientific and clinical expertise and facilities to support research into mental health and neurological conditions. The CRF also has a Patient and Public Involvement Group, ENGAGE, which aims to promote participation in mental health research, improve the experience of research participants, and raise the profile of research in mental health.
We met with the CRF to discuss young people’s participation in research. Specifically, we discussed why young people may be willing (or unwilling!) to participate. We decided that young people were more likely to engage in research if they understood the aims and goals of the research project fully. We also talked about the fact that young people do not get paid for their research participation in schools. This seemed unfair to us, and we feel it is important to pay young people for their participation (even if it is with a gift card).
We also met with Laura Epton, Participatory Research Officer in NEUROSEC, to talk about the public engagement strategy being developed for BeGOOD Citizens. In this consultation we discussed what we felt were the best ways to engage our peers. Laura also provided an update on the progress of the digital game project that seeks to produce a game for engage and educate young people on the ethics of early intervention on mental health. During the group work, we discussed 2 areas, firstly how to improve awareness of bioethics and research and secondly how to support young people to develop skills, knowledge and agency to participate in discussion on the ethics of early intervention in mental health. Our two groups talked about the importance of going to places where young people are to speak to them about ethics and try to engage young people earlier, as well as creating resources to show young people what skills were involved. We were also asked to provide feedback about potential scenarios to use in the game, and fed-back what we thought of the potential topics and structure.
Our third session was used to code data from the digital diaries study. It’s very exciting to see the project progress! We used an online system and coded different responses for whether they were morally good/bad, and put them into different subcategories (for example, were these moral experiences related to the self or someone else)?
Finally, we had a joint dinner at Turl Street Kitchen to celebrate finishing 2018. It was great for the ethics and mental health groups to meet up, both in our session and also socially over dinner!