From presentations on pathways to youth mental health engagement to the challenges of indirect engagement work, Bananarama references, cat memes, an engagement workshop and ‘show and tell’ showcase - the first Early Career Researcher Youth and Public engagement on Self-harm (ECRYaPS) Network Symposium was a great success. Held at Durham University, the event brought together researchers from across 10 universities in a lively and friendly day of sharing idea and good practice, of identifying frustrations, barriers and brainstorming solutions. Attendees had the opportunity to learn from peers, as well as hear from keynote speakers bringing broad perspectives and expertise from academia and the NHS and – importantly – young people involved in mental health and self-harm specific research.ECRYaPS is in its infancy, having been established in the summer of 2016 by four current and past members of the Self-Harm Research Group (University of Nottingham). The symposium acted as a springboard to ensure that we continue to support ECR involvement and engagement work and encourage UK-wide networking and collaborations. The momentum certainly continues; the network currently co-ordinates a resource swap shop and is running a study exploring ECRs’ experiences and perceptions of public engagement and involvement work, as well as keeping ECRs up-to-date with opportunities and news.
We are grateful to the Mental Health Research Group (Durham University) for their funding for the symposium.
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