Mental health and well-being during adolescence is vitally important for young people to flourish and for the health and prosperity of society. Yet evidence suggests that poor mental health is on the rise and that the most vulnerable or disadvantaged in society suffer the most. Highly stretched and constrained mental health systems are typically designed to react to problems once they have already become severe.
This work will take a radically different approach. As a partnership of leading scientists, designers and practitioners working alongside communities, researchers are testing an approach called Kailo – which means connected or whole. Kailo is an evidence-informed framework that will support local partnerships to co-design strategies that address the underlying drivers of mental health in their area. The strategies and activities will be informed by the latest scientific evidence about promoting adolescent mental health and will be flexed and tailored to address local needs and contexts.
The framework will be implemented initially in two very different communities – Newham in East London, and rural North Devon. A bold programme of developmental research will test the feasibility of the approach across these contexts, informing refinements, wider replication and systemic and contributory impact evaluation. Results from these sites will support wider-scale implementation and impact at scale.
About the research team
Kailo’s membership includes:
- Research expertise – including co-investigators from UCL, University of Exeter and Dartington Service Design Lab – bringing expertise in adolescent mental health, clinical service provision, systems thinking, applied healthcare modelling, data science, implementation science and developmental and systemic evaluation.
- Partners in Newham and North Devon, including leaders in public health, integrated health and social care, and locally embedded organisations working with young people.
- Mental health practice and design expertise, with co-investigators from third sector partners at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, Redthread and Shift.
This project has received funding from UK Prevention Research Partnership (UKPRP)
You can find out more about the project on the Kailo website.
- Rosalind Raine, Director ARC North Thames, University College London
- Peter Fonagy, Research Director, UCL, University College London
- Tim Hobbs, Co-Director, Dartington Service Design Lab
- Steve Pilling, Thomas Booker, University College London
- Keira Lowther, Deon Simpson, Dartington Service Design Lab
- Dickon Bevington, Peter Fuggle, Liz Cracknell, Anna Freud Centre
- John Poyton, Redthread
- Dr Anna March, Dr Kate Allen, Tamanna Malhotra, University of Exeter
- Karuna Davies, University College London