There were two main drivers to my interest. One is very practical: as a psychiatrist I often see young people with mental health problems and am aware of the difficulties they can face in getting the help and understanding they would like.
Why is the focus of agency important in this context?
Agency is important for us in the project as we want to examine how the young person is able to be an agent in the clinical encounter, that is, have their own views, opinions, and choices recognised and valued, and how we can improve these clinical meetings to further support agency.
What do your experience and disciplinary background bring to the project?
I hope I have been able to bring my experience and background is as a medical doctor and clinical psychiatrist where I have worked with many young people with predominantly psychotic illnesses. In parallel, I have supported a close family member, who has had times of poor mental health, in their clinical consultations with professionals. In addition, I hope I have been able to bring a wider experience of how NHS services and professionals work, and how we train clinicians.
What do you hope to see as an outcome of this project?
The main outcome I hope for is to take what we can learn from the clinical encounters and use it to help professionals in various settings (for examples, primary and secondary care, education) improve how clinical consultations are conducted, such that the mental health of young people is improved, and they are given support to enhance their agency in relation to their care and the choices they can make.