Young Smiles Event | Events

Young Smiles Event

Bringing Together Young People, Parents/Carers and Professionals to understand what makes young people resilient or vulnerable to mental health difficulties.

Last Friday, the Centre for Women’s Mental Health and GMMH’s GM.Digital Research Unit were delighted to welcome delegates to the Young Smiles Event at the University of Manchester.  

We had a fantastic line up of speakers delivering a jam-packed programme of talks and workshops, covering topics from the impact of poverty and family adversity on young people’s mental health; risk and resilience in children living with parental mental illness; an intervention to support young people’s mental health and wellbeing; and national data on the mental health of young people. Delegates heard about the findings of an NIHR-funded project ‘Young Smiles’ which looked at developing an intervention to support children and young people experiencing parental mental illness.

Our line-up of talks and workshops was designed to provide insight to delegates into this area, and highlight the importance of a whole-system approach, not solely focusing on the child/young person as an individual.

Presentation and people at an event

Delegates were welcomed to the event by Professor Kathryn Abel, followed by the first speaker, Dr Nicholas Adjei from the University of Liverpool who explored the impact of poverty and family adversity on young people’s mental health. Following this, Dr Matthias Pierce presented some complex data in a very accessible way, highlighting the prevalence of maternal mental illness in the UK.

The penultimate presentation of the morning session was from Professors Julian Edbrooke-Childs and Jess Deighton from the Anna Freud Centre. Their session provided delegates with insights into a new digital intervention to support young women’s mental health titled ‘My Story & Me.’

Presentation and people at an event

Professor Kathryn Abel shared the findings of the Young Smiles Project on behalf of Professor Lina Gega. Delegates found it was thought-provoking to hear about the findings from this project, and the intervention which was designed to support children and young people experiencing parental mental illness. After lunch, Dr Sally McManus presented national data on the mental health of children and young people in England.We then heard from the CEO of the ‘Our Time’ charity – Dympna Cunnane who explained the support offered by Our Time for families experiencing parental mental illness.

Person presenting at an event

The final session of the day was an interactive workshop conducted by the Digital Health Software Team at the University of Manchester. The workshop encouraged delegates to reflect on the importance of co-design and accessibility in mental health research. After seeing a demonstration of the ‘VoiceIn’ app delegates were given the opportunity to create their own persona maps and low-fidelity app designs!

Presentation during the event

If you weren’t able to attend the event but would like more information about the topics covered, please contact the Research Office by emailing

As a patient

As a service user, relative or carer using our services, sometimes you may need to turn to someone for help, advice, and support. 

Find resources for carers and service users  Contact the Trust

We place cookies on your computer to help make this website better. You can at any time read our Privacy Policy to find out more. By using this site we will assume that you are happy to continue.

Please choose a setting: