Information for young people aged 12-15

The link to the survey is at the bottom of this page though we recommend you read the following information before taking part.

Mental health problems for young women and girls are on the rise. This could be due to a range of factors, including the circumstances young women and girls face.

We are developing a new storytelling tool, ‘My Story and Me’, to help young women and girls. We would like to know what you think about the project (described on the next page).

We use the terms young woman and girl inclusively. If you are gender diverse and feel this topic is relevant to you, and you want to take part in this study, we welcome your views. We will respect your gender.

We are inviting you to take part in this study as you said you were interested in it. You are able to take part if you are a young woman or girl aged 12-24 years.

We want to hear from a range of different voices. A core focus is to hear from those who are less likely to be heard. We particularly encourage participants from:

  • Black and minoritised ethnic groups
  • LGBTQI+ groups
  • Neurodiverse groups
  • Multiple identities (if you are from more than one of these groups)

Taking part in the study involves either completing an online survey (15 mins) or a one-to-one or group discussion that will last about 45 minutes. The discussions will be online using Microsoft Teams.

It is your decision to take part or not. If you do choose to take part and there are any questions you don’t feel comfortable answering, you don’t have to answer them and you can stop straight away. You can take as much time as you need. You do not have to talk about anything that makes you feel uncomfortable or upset.


  • There will be a £10 voucher for your participation, which you will receive by email. If you decide to withdraw at any point from the study, you will still receive your voucher.
  • Many people find taking part in research rewarding as they provide a valuable contribution to the development of knowledge.

Disadvantages: Due to the topics, discussions may be sensitive. Please let a member of the research team know if you would like to talk, need a break at any time, or would like to speak again after the discussion.

The project

My Story and Me process image

If you do become upset, please speak to a member of the research team. For more support contact:

  • Anna Freud Crisis Messenger: Text AFC to 85258. It is the free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere.
  • The Mix: Call 0808 808 4994. The Mix are there to help you take on any challenge you’re facing.
  • Samaritans: Free to call service 24 hours a day, call them on 116 123.
  • LGBT+ Switchboard Helpline: Call 0300 330 0630 10am-10pm every day.
  • Mindline Trans+: Call 0300 330 5468 Mondays and Fridays 8pm to midnight. Mindline Trans+ provide emotional and mental health support for anyone identifying as trans, non-binary, gender fluid, and other gender identities.

Your information

  • Other information we collect, like your contact details and consent form, will be kept safe.
  • We will ask you if we can audio record the one-to-one or group discussion, so we don’t miss what people say.
  • Another organisation will write up the recordings, and we will make sure that they keep your data safe.
  • When the recordings have been written up, we will replace your name with a random number and the recording will be deleted.
  • Survey responses will also have a random number, not names.
  • If you complete a survey, we won’t be able to remove your responses afterward – they will never be connected to your name.
  • If you want us to remove your responses after the discussion, you can contact us and ask us to delete them.
    • You can do this up to 2 weeks after the discussion. You don’t have to tell us why.
    • After this time, most of the information will not be connected to any names. We won’t be able to delete your responses because we won’t know who said what.

There are two steps to this study
1. Now: Sign a consent form to tell us that you are happy to take part (10 mins). Your parent or carer will also need to sign this form.
2. a) Online survey: On what you think about ‘My Story and Me’ and our future plans (15 mins).
2. b) Online one-to-one or group discussion: On what you think about ‘My Story and Me’ and our future plans (45 mins).

If you have any questions about the study, your rights in the study, or how we are using information, please contact us on 020 7794 2313 or

What next?
It is up to you to decide to take part. If you would like to, please complete this form.

Further information
Who are we?
This project is led by Jess Deighton and Julian Edbrooke-Childs. Jess leads a team of researchers (including Julian) at the Evidence Based Practice Unit, which is based at the Anna Freud Centre (a children’s mental health charity) and University College London.

Jess and Julian are passionate about this project for many reasons. In their work they both have seen how young people from certain groups are much less likely to have a voice in research. This research shapes how young people are supported, so if we don’t hear from different groups, support isn’t going to meet the needs of different groups.

Jess is especially interested in this topic because she is a mum of three girls. She is deeply concerned about how girls and young women seem to be increasingly experiencing a range of challenges that undermine their mental health and what this means for her girls and many others like them. Julian is especially interested in this topic because he has experience of mental health difficulties. He wants to help all young women to have a voice in their mental health and support.

This project wouldn’t be possible without the fantastic diverse team of people involved. If you would like to see more about Jess, Julian, and the team, please visit our webpage here:

UCL Ethics Committee has approved the study
All research is looked at by an independent group of people, called a Research Ethics Committee, to protect your interests and safety. This research has been reviewed and approved by University College London Research Ethics Committee (ref.: 14307/008).

Other information

  • We will not share what you have told us with anyone else (e.g., your parents or carers).
  • We will only tell someone if we feel it is an emergency or if you tell us something that puts you or others at risk.
  • If this happens, we will talk with you about it first.
  • If you take part in a group discussion, please don’t repeat what other people say after the discussion. It is important we all treat each other with respect and keep discussions private. If you have any concerns about the group discussion, please contact Jess (
  • The results will be published in reports, presentations, and websites – they will not include your name.
  • If you would like to see a summary of what we’ve learned, please let us know and we will send this to you, or check our website in December 2022.
  • University College London is responsible for the research.
  • The research is funded by the Public Health Research programme of the National Institute of Health Research.
  • Please contact Jess if there are any problems or if you have any complaints. If you want to take your complaint further, you can contact the Chair of the ethics committee on
  • This research team includes the Anna Freud Centre, University College London, University of Manchester, University of Oxford, Centre for Mental Health, and Gendered Intelligence.


Please follow this link to complete a consent form:

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