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?

  • Understand how the use of social media and smartphones may increase the risk of self-harm in young people.
  • Invite young people who have been in contact with mental health services to take part in the study.
  • Engage with young people to ensure that the planning and design of systems are acceptable and user-friendly.

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?

The delivery of the co-design workshop had to be a collaborative and flexible process. Therefore, this involved careful balancing the expectations and requirements of the research study with the expectations and standard procedures from all parties.

Project outcomes

The study gained valuable views of a group of young people to improve the planning and design of the study materials and systems. Engaging with young people in a structured and supportive way to improve participation documentation, study website and mobile phone software. The findings will be used to recruit more young people to the study.

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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