Service user experience of the Norfolk youth service

David Heavens, Joanne Hodgekins, Rebecca Lower, Joanne Spauls, Benjamin Carroll, Brioney Gee, Timothy Clarke, Jonathan Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: There is an international drive to improve mental health services for young people. This study aims to investigate service user experience of a youth mental health service in Norfolk, UK. In addition to suggesting improvements to this service, recommendations are made for the development of youth mental health services in general. Design/methodology/approach: A mixed-methods approach was used. Quantitative data from satisfaction questionnaires were analysed using descriptive statistics and compared between two time points. A semi-structured interview was used to generate qualitative data. Thematic analysis was used to identify themes in the interview transcripts and triangulation was used to synthesise quantitative and qualitative data. Findings: Service users appeared satisfied with the service. Significant improvements in satisfaction were found between two time points. Qualitative analysis identified three main themes that were important to service users, including support, information and personhood. Practical implications: Recommendations for the development of youth mental health services are provided. Although these are based on findings from the Norfolk youth service, they are likely to apply to other mental health services for young people. Originality/value: Mental health care for young people requires significant improvement. The Norfolk youth service is one of the first services of its kind in the UK. The findings from this study might be helpful to consider in the development of youth mental health services across the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-98
Number of pages14
JournalMental Health Review Journal
Issue number1
Early online date28 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2020


  • Adolescent
  • Community mental health
  • Mental health
  • Service user
  • Young people
  • Youth
  • CARE

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