Two people sitting in a park using their mobile phones.

King's College London Social Media Study

We co-designed workshops and facilitated youth engagement as part of a study to explore patterns of social media, smartphone use and self-harm in young people.

What were the project aims?

  • Understanding how the use of social media and smartphones are associated with changes over time in mental health and wellbeing in young people.
  • Engage young people in the planning, design and running of the study to ensure the systems are acceptable and user-friendly.
  • Invite young people who have been in contact with mental health services to take part in the study.

What motivated this project?

As part of the 3S-YP study, King's College London wanted to work collaboratively with young people and incorporate their experiences, views and opinions into the planning and design of this research study to ensure that it is relevant to other young people.

Find out more about the 3S-YP study

What obstacles were overcome?

Engaging young people in research had to be a collaborative and flexible process. Therefore, this involved careful balancing of the expectations and requirements of the research study to ensure it is a positive and beneficial experience for all involved, particularly the young people.

Project outcomes

The study has gained valuable input from young people through structured and safe engagement that has improved the delivery of the study and has provided an opportunity for young people to learn more about mental health research.

It has been an interesting and enjoyable experience to work with YoungMinds to date and understand their collaborative working approach to youth engagement and how their approach seeks to empower and validate young people engaging with service and research development.

Top tips learnt from the project


Early discussions should outline the full potential of the project to maximise the involvement and engagement with young people.

We will continue to engage with us for the duration of the study with the Youth Activists, supported by a Senior Project Officer. Joining the Project Steering Group, Youth Activists will monitor the conduct and progress of the study and provide active input at each stage.

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