This project will help to understand the effect of doing mental health research with young people.

Instead of doing research to you, we want to research with you!

Participant Information 

This space provides you information about the nature and purpose of this project. It also explains your rights as a research participant in the project. This document is for all young people who wish to take part in the study. You can find a downloadable version of this information towards the end of the page.


Young people should have the chance to share their experiences. We also feel young people should be heard when adults make decisions for them. We want to hear from you about how this can be done in a way that cares for young people and helps adult to understand what young people need. By taking part in this study, you will be contributing to creating a best practice guideline to support young people to take part in mental health related research. 


This project has been approved by the School of Health in Social Science Ethics Committee.

Why have I been invited to take part? We want to hear from young people aged 14-20, living in and around Edinburgh, and who have experience of being in foster, kinship* or residential care or whose family has a social worker.


*Kinship care means living with a member of your family or a family friend who isn’t your mum or dad.


Do I have to take part? No, taking part in the study is not compulsory. We strongly recommend that you chat with a keyworker, a foster parent, your social worker, or any other trusted adult before agreeing to take part. You can also talk to staff members at 6VT.

You can change your mind and leave the study at any time. However, we will not be able to delete data already collected. Data is information we have collected through interviews and other conversations that has been recorded.

What should I expect if I take part in this study? If you do wish to take part in the research study, you will be invited to be a part of an activity camp to be conducted at the premises of 6VT, 11-15 Vennel, EH1 2HU- Edinburgh youth café.

The activity camp will be held over roughly 3 weeks, during the regular drop-in hours at 6VT (Every Monday, Wednesday 6:00pm-10:00pm and every Friday 6:00pm-9:00pm). During the camp, there will be different types of activities to help young people engage with the project. These activities include:

  • Games and creative activities to help you get involved with the project
  • Learning how to interview others
  • Designing research for young people
  • Interviewing young people about their views

Please note that these activities will NOT ask you about your own personal histories. We are just trying to understand the kind of support young need to take part in research studies.

You can take part in different ways:

  • Helping to design the questions and ways of speaking with participants
  • Being an interviewer to gather information for the study
  • Being interviewed by another young person for the study

Additionally, you MIGHT be invited to feature in a video production after the study, where we will create a video with the results of the study. You can still take part in the study if you do not want to be featured in the video. We will give you information about this separately.

Sessions will be about 2 hours long, including time for breaks. We have prepared a rough outline of what the sessions might look like:

  • 7:00-7:15pm- Introduction to the session
  • 7:15-7:30pm- Icebreaker activity
  • 7:35-8:05pm- Main activity session
  • 8:10-8:30- Ending the session
  • 8:30-9:00pm- Debriefing session

What data might be collected in the study? We will collect your names and phone numbers. We will also collect contact numbers and addresses of your GP, social worker or someone with parental responsibility, and someone who lives close to you. We MUST provide at least 2 of these contact in order to take part in the study.

We will record some of the conversations we have when designing the questions and we will record all the interviews. We will use voice recorders. You will always know when we are recording a conversation. The recordings will be the data for the study.

How will the information be used and stored? All data will be stored using password protected folders on the university server and will follow data protection and management guidelines set by the university. It will only be shared between the PhD student and supervisors using university secured network. We will follow data management guidelines set by the GDPR and the University of Edinburgh.

What will happen with the results of this study? The data collected in the study is part of a PhD. It will also be used to show researchers and practitioners (e.g., social workers) how to do safe and good research with care-experienced young people. The results of the study will also be published in peer-reviewed journals and/or conference presentations. We might also create a video production as a part to distribute the knowledge gained during the study.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

By taking part in the project, you also get a chance to earn up to £20.

We are asking for your time and expertise in this study, and these have value. If you are involved in designing the study and interviewing your peers, you will receive £20.

If you are only involved in being a respondent within the study, you will be awarded £10. We can also give you a professional reference if you contribute to the design and interviewing parts of the project, which you can use in college and work applications.

You will also get a chance to learn various useful skills like conducting an interview, sensitive listening and debriefing, amongst others.

What are the possible risks or disadvantages of taking part? There might be some risks due to taking part in this study. You might feel distressed about listening to other people talk about their experiences. The research team will work very hard to help participants avoid these risks. We will take regular breaks and check-in with you. We will provide safe spaces to share any difficult feelings and help you to access support. We will give you information about helplines and where to go for advice at the end of the study, in case of further distress.

We have taken specific steps to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during the study by adhering to the most up to date Scottish government guidance. We will follow all health and safety protocols outlined by 6VT. 

What will happen if I say anything that might cause harm to others or myself? If you tell us about something that might cause harm to you or others, the PhD researcher will pass that information to the 6VT staff members, who will then take action as needed.

What if I have any questions? If you have any questions about what you have read, please speak to us at any time.

You can contact the Raahat Manrai (PhD researcher) at You can also contact me on during regular drop-in hours at 6VT.

You can also contact the Project Supervisors, Emily Taylor at and Rachel Happer at

If you have questions or comments about your rights as a participant, you can contact Helen Sharpe (Research Lead for Clinical and Health Psychology) at

Additionally, if you need to make a complaint about this study please contact Matthias Schwannauer (Head of School of Health in Social Science, the University of Edinburgh) via email at

You can also download this document for later use: Participant Information Sheet