Service design for children and young people’s mental health

What is the Blueprint study?

The Blueprint study will look at the different kinds of outpatient and community-based services that are available for children and young people experiencing ‘common mental health problems’. These are commonly occurring problems that generally do not require admission to hospital and include problems such as anxiety, depression, self-harm, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

During the three year study, we will identify ways to make services for children, young people and their families more effective and accessible. We will then develop one or more models – or ‘blueprints’ – of services for this population. This will take into account how services are accessed, navigated and used by children and young people and their families. You can read more detail about the Blueprint project here.


More information

Why is this study important?

The mental health of children and young people is a national and international priority, with around one in eight children and young people in the UK experiencing a mental health problem that requires professional support.

More children and young people with mental health difficulties are asking for help (or their parents, carers or teachers are) but it is often difficult to access support due to reasons such as:

  • A lack of mental health services;
  • Long waiting lists;
  • The varying services available in different regions across the country;
  • Insufficient support and resources for the child or young person’s specific mental health condition.

Who is carrying out this research?

The study has been funded by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) as part of its Health Services and Delivery Research Programme . It is collaboration between The University of Manchester, Cardiff University, Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust and Common Room, an organisation led by young people with lived experience of mental illness. You can read more about the research team here.

The project is also supported by an Advisory Group which includes young people with lived experience of common mental health problems, parents, professionals working in children’s mental health, education and social care, service managers and service commissioners and academics specialising in children’s mental health.

Project partners

The Blueprint study is funded by National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research Programme (Grant Reference Number 17/09/08). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NIHR or the Department of Health and Social Care.


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