A bit more understanding: Young adults' views of mental health services in care in Ireland

Tatlow-Golden, Mimi and McElvaney, Rosaleen (2015). A bit more understanding: Young adults' views of mental health services in care in Ireland. Children and Youth Services Review, 51 pp. 1–9.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.childyouth.2015.01.014


Children and young people in the care system typically experience very high levels of mental health difficulties, yet their views of these difficulties and of mental health services have rarely been explored. For this qualitative study we spoke with eight young adults aged 18 to 27 years with experience of the care system in Ireland about mental health challenges, service experiences, and how they felt mental health services needed to improve. Themes from the interviews illuminated young adults' views of their emotional well-being while in care, and the double stigma of being in care and mental health difficulties. In terms of services, young adults wanted these to be flexible and sensitive to level of need; to offer choice and more congenial environments; to provide more creative routes to engaging young people; and to offer honest, reciprocal, caring communication — treating children in care as one would any child. Recommendations highlight three key needs: an ethic of care in services as well as an ethic of justice; mental health training for all professionals in contact with children in care; and the need to listen, hear and act on what children and young people say

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