When planning our campaign we knew that we wanted our research to be youth led. It had to be a campaign by young people for young people.
We asked a researcher at University of Ulster to help us, we knew this would make our work valid and the report stronger. We all received training in peer research skills which enabled us to develop our online survey and focus groups, analyse our findings and create our research report.
Our online survey which we sent out to 14-17 year olds in schools, youth groups and using our online social media had over 1100 responses. We then used these survey findings to develop our focus groups and ask more qualitative questions about mental health.
We hosted 4 focus groups in Newry, Derry, Ballymena and Belfast. We love being creative and at our events we asked young people to design their own elephants with messages about mental health.
This campaign is very important to us and we have spent a lot of time analysing our findings and creating recommendations for government. We have also been out and about promoting our campaign by meeting with other youth groups, meeting with local councillors, politicians and public body representatives and attending events throughout NI.
Our report was launched at an event that took place in Stormont on the 4th October. This was hosted by Mark H Durkin (MLA) and Stephen Agnew (MLA) and was attended by over 100 young people and decision makers.