ESRC Festival of Social Science 2015


Mental Health Film Screening and Workshops with Young People
ALPHA Film Screening – The Perks of Being a Wallflower

On the evening of Friday 13th November, 40 young people visited Cardiff University to take part in DECIPHer’s 2015 Festival of Social Science film screening event.  The young people, aged 15 to 24 from the areas of Cardiff, Caerphilly, Ceredigion, and Merthyr Tydfil, were supported to attend the evening through youth workers and school teachers.

The film screened at this event, ‘The Perks of being a Wallflower’, is a story of a young person’s struggles with mental health and fitting in with peers.  ALPHA members had already seen the film and decided it was an appropriate way to prompt young people to think about mental health. Evaluations from the screening showed that the attendees liked the film and thought it easy to watch.

After the screening, the young people were asked to join one of four workshops to discuss messages from the film surrounding mental health. The reason ‘mental health’ was chosen as the focus of the workshops was because three young people in every classroom experience mental health problems during adolescence, and because last year’s Festival of Social Science workshops with 45 young people demonstrated that they thought mental health was a public health priority (see blog for further details).

The workshops provided an opportunity for the young people to meet with Cardiff University researchers who talked about their research projects, giving the attendees the opportunity to voice their opinions of work currently underway.  The four workshop themes were: mental health support in schools; helping young people who self-harm; designing an app for depression support; supporting young people who have been in hospital for mental health issues.

Session notes will be shared with researchers to ensure that the young people’s views can be used to inform current or future research projects undertaken within Cardiff University.  Also all youth projects and schools involved will receive an update in 2016 to advise how we have used the information gained from the event.

Hayley Reed, the Involving Young People Research Officer who organised the event, would like to thank the ESRC for part funding the event.  She would also like to thank sciSCREEN (Cardiff University’s film engagement project), Children in Wales, and the Schools Health Research Network who helped to recruit attendees and run the film screening, the researchers who gave their time to run the workshops, and ALPHA who co-organised and co-facilitated the evening.


word flower