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The NIHR Maudsley BRC has formed an Adolescent Mental Health Advisory (ADO) Group comprising young individuals with personal experience in mental health challenges or caring for someone facing such issues. This group meets with researchers to discuss their projects, and improve the quality of mental health research studies.

Adolescent Mental Health Advisory Group

The group is open to young people aged 12 – 17 years old, and meets every 3 months during school holidays from 1pm - 4pm at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, Denmark Hill. Group members will receive lunch and travel reimbursement. They will also be paid £30 as thanks for their expertise and giving up their time.

Each session will feature researchers presenting their projects and seeking the group's input for improvement. There will also be an interactive activity showcasing various approaches and techniques employed in mental health research, such as using virtual reality demonstrations, extracting DNA from fruits, or measuring brain activity using EEG or MRI.

The group is set up by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) and is funded by the NIHR Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College London.

The main aims of the group are to:

  • Increase awareness of current and future research into young people’s mental health.
  • Provide a voice for young service users/carers in mental health research.
  • Identify and share good practice in service user and carer involvement.
  • Act as a point of contact for researchers seeking Patient and Carer Involvement and Engagement (PCIE) on studies relating to young people.
  • Collaborate with the wider NIHR family and charities on specific projects.

If you are interested in becoming a member, please fill out the interest form below and we will be in touch:

Adolescent Mental Health Advisory Group interest form


How researchers can access our expertise

We invite anybody conducting research related to young people’s mental health who would like advice and support on their project to attend one of our meetings.

If you would like to come and present at one of our meetings or if you would like to provide a demonstration or fun educational activity, please contact us at

The ADO Group reviews research projects of all shapes and sizes, and at a variety of different stages. Most researchers come to the ADO Group before applying for funding, or before writing an ethics application in order to get advice on data collection procedures, but other examples of how the Ado Group can help include:

  • Commenting on the feasibility of research projects
  • Helping researchers with language and jargon
  • Assessing whether a project will be attractive to young people or not (and why)
  • Reviewing research documents for user-friendliness
  • Testing websites, apps and computer games
  • Developing a sustainable Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) strategy
  • Advising on dissemination and sharing findings with young people


Group lead

Contact us

If you have any questions about joining the group as a new member, or coming to present as a researcher, please email us at