Successful Conference on the Future of Young People’s Mental Health

by Halyna Soltys | 28th Jun 2023

What does the future of mental health services look like for young people?

On Thursday, 8th June, ProMo-Cymru and Adferiad Recovery delivered a coproduced online conference about the future of mental health support for young people in Wales.

The conference was part of the ‘Our Minds Our Future‘ (OMOF) Wales project. This project empowers young people to create meaningful changes to mental health services by raising awareness of their experiences and speaking to influencers and decision-makers.

The online event focused on three main areas important to the seven young people who are part of the project:

Workshop 1

This workshop explored inpatient mental health care for young people in Wales. Two OMOF young advocates, Martha and Rain, shared their stories of being in inpatient care. This led to discussions about what went well and what could have been improved. The workshop was facilitated by Dr Euan Hails, who was awarded an MBE in 2022 for services to children and young people’s mental health in Wales.

Workshop 2

This workshop highlighted how social media could be used to promote good mental health. Andrew Collins and Lucy Palmer, digital experts at ProMo-Cymru, explained the need for services to be on social media platforms. They should be providing support to young people in the places where they spend their time. They looked at how organisations can cut through the noise of harmful content online and disrupt the feed to support young people.

Workshop 3

This workshop highlighted the NEST framework and how it’s making a big difference in early intervention and prevention care in Wales. The session was delivered by Millie Boswell, the NYTH/NEST Framework Implementation Lead for Welsh Government. She explained how she is implementing the NEST framework to create a whole system approach to improving mental health and well-being services for babies, children and young people. Josh and another young person, two OMOF young advocates, shared their stories about what good early intervention support looked like and how it helped them recover.


The audience, mainly consisting of professionals across the public and private sectors, was very engaged and left positive feedback, including:

“This was the best online conference I’ve been to”.

“I loved hearing directly from the young people. This was so powerful and engaging. I was amazed at their confidence and eloquence on such a challenging and personal subject matter. Really well done on your work engaging with them; they clearly trust you and feel empowered!”

“As someone who works for CAMHS at Welsh Government, I don’t have contact with young people. What I learned will be on the forefront of my mind when I’m at meetings and doing work going forward.”

The Our Minds Our Future Wales project approaches its final year of funding in December. The young advocates hope to share the feedback from the conference with influencers and decision-makers. They hope this will help shape the future of mental health services for young people across Wales.