Kent CYPMHS - Participation header image

Black woman with her hand in the air to volunteer. With the words engage, join, participate, unite and involve on a board.


What it Participation?

Participation is inviting young people who have experienced our services to share their views and ideas to help us develop and improve what we do. We work in partnership with you to create change.

What are the benefits of getting involved?

Young people have said that participation has given them a ‘massive confidence boost’, brought them into contact with other like-minded people, and been an ‘amazing creative outlet’. Participation will also help you develop important skills, like presentation, communication, and design skills, which NELFT will recognise by offering to write letters describing your contributions to NELFTservices. This could be helpful for job applications, or when applying for studies. We are also able to assist with travel expenses and other costs (more information provided on registering interest).

Participation is essential for us to provide quality services, it is also rewarding for those that invest their time, seeing how your voice can change and improve the experience of our services for other young people and their families.

Who can get involved

We can work with young people aged 12-17 that currently use our services, or have used them within the last two years.  If you’ve recently left Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services, and are between 18-20 years old, we’d still like to work with you and can find opportunities for you to contribute your experience.

What activities does Participation involve?

Participation can involve many different activities. For example, you could be involved in rewriting and redesigning the communications young people receive from us. Or you could create content for the ‘@kentandmedwaycamhs’ Instagram account, which could involve creating art, writing, or even making video and audio content. If there are other changes or contributions you want to make to our service, for example, how we involve you in your treatment, or anything you would like to improve. The Participation Team will help you bring your ideas and solutions to the services attention.

When and where will it take place?

There are lots of different ways you can get involved and make a difference - and you get to choose which you prefer. If you would like to join a Participation Group, a Participation Worker can connect you with the group in your area. Or you could join the Social Media Participation Group, which creates content for the ‘@kentandmedwaycamhs’ Instagram and YouTube channels for the service.

Where and when these groups meet is something that the group decides. It could be online, or face-to-face. The Participation Worker can let you know the current arrangements for the activities you’re interested in.

If you don’t want to join a group, and would rather get involved one-to-one, the Participation Team are able to help you to do that too.

Sometimes we need to speak to a specific group of young people to help us with projects, for example; young people with Autism (ASC) or ADHD, or those with Eating Disorders. If you are a young person that would like your voice heard in direct relation to the difficulties or diagnosis you have, we really want to hear from you. Let your clinician know your area of interest.

How can you get involved?

If you’re interested in getting involved, email the Participation worker and they will send you a registration of interest form.