A GEM of a Youth Voice Project

Youth Engagement Facilitator, Ella Sheltawy, shares her experience of working with and supporting the our Young Experts for the Youth GEMs project, in partnership with Maastricht and Utrecht University after its first year of inception.

Hi, my name is Ella, and I’ve been a Youth Worker everywhere from schools to hospitals, systems change co-production projects to residential homes, before I came to the YOUTH GEMS Project as a Facilitator. The project sparked my interest because I am acutely aware that so much of our daily lives, both professionally and personally, are geared towards learning more about mental health: how to accept it, cope with it, and change attitudes towards it. However, for me, it was a long time since I’d really honed in on the psychological and physiological underpinnings.

The Youth GEMS project looks at doing exactly that, it’s a 5-year study bringing together researchers across universities throughout Europe and Australia, to look at the transition of a mental health problem to a mental illness in young people. It brings together numerous strands of research, exploring genetics, artificial intelligence, and qualitative interviews to name a few. So where does youth work cross into scientific research? 

Now, this is the exciting part! The study aims not just to value scientific research, but also the experience and voice of young people living with mental health. Here’s where my organisation Euro Youth Mental Health (EYMH) comes in – we are a collective of volunteers and young people aiming to improve the mental health support young people receive across Europe, by involving young experts by experience.

Read the full blog post on EYMH website here!