How did Project Health Resilience start?

Project Health Resilience started in Camden in 2019 when some doctors and education colleagues came together to address the gap in health literacy education for young people. Camden sixth form leads and students at Camden sixth forms had expressed that several health topics were a gap in their learning, and that they were at an age at which they were expected to start taking ownership over their own health and health decisions. During focus groups with young people in Camden, colleagues explored what the main priorities and concerns were for young people when becoming more independent and how young people would like to receive this information. The topics that staff and students identified as prime concerns were access to healthcare, medical emergencies, and mental health, and the Project Health Resilience sessions were born. 

Scoping the sessions

Prior to session development, a scoping exercise was undertaken with Camden sixth form staff and students. 

Focus groups were conducted with Heads of Sixth Form and teachers from six Camden schools and with 27 students from four different sixth forms. The purpose of these groups was to find out:

  • What were staff and students’ main priorities and concerns when leaving school and moving on to college, university, or employment
  • What topics were already covered sufficiently by schools and wider services and which topics required further coverage and;
  • What delivery model would be optimal for relaying this information.

Staff identified young people’s mental health and resilience as being a priority area, as they felt that these issues underpin a lot of other potential issues and risk-taking behaviours.

Priorities identified by students were more wide-ranging and included mental health, first aid, physical activity, relationships, and how to effectively use health services.

Following the scoping, there were co-production of sessions with young people, who also contributed further insights, leading to adjustments to the sessions. 

PHR Programme Leadership & Governance

The PHR programme is funded by and sits under the Legacy and Health Equity Partnership (LHEP): an NHS London programme, learning from COVID and putting communities at the centre to reduce inequalities in screening, immunisation and access to health. 

Project Health Resilience is a partnership of - and has senior leadership oversight from - LHEP, the UK Health Security Agency, NHSE, AIR (Asthma Innovation Research), Camden Council, Greater London Authority, London schools and young people themselves. 

The pilot programme is being formally evaluated and has ethics approval from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

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