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Addressing the Needs of Young people in Suffolk: An Evaluation of Health and Wellbeing Service Provision
Vanessa Claire Rawlings, Sarah Coombs

Last modified: 2017-10-29


On a global scale wellbeing is increasingly acknowledged as a significant concern for societies and future global economies (OECD, 2014). In the United Kingdom there is increasing concern over state provisions and the promotion of individual responsibility for health and wellbeing in relation to children and young people’s position as ‘human capital’ to be invested in for the longer term benefit of society (Tucker, 1998; Foley, 2008). As part of Public Health Suffolk’s Commissioning strategy to improve health and reduce health inequalities for people in Suffolk, the University of Suffolk was commissioned between January and May 2016 to conduct a research study of adults and young people on issues related to health, wellbeing and life chances in Suffolk. The researchers carried out qualitative focus groups with young people and a workshop with frontline children’s services staff to identify any unique or factors or barriers similar to the national picture in accessing health and wellbeing provision in Suffolk. The key findings highlighted that young people in Suffolk experienced similar health and wellbeing issues as those found nationally. As a largely rural county the limitations of services across the county of Suffolk highlighted issues of access to and availability of wellbeing support services. Although across the county younger participants (12 to 15 years old) were satisfied with health and wellbeing services and support in schools, the older young people (16 to 19 years old) reported significant concerns across the county around mental health and wellbeing amongst their age group. However there were a number of resilience factors identified across all ages in terms of support strategies and networks that young people valued within Suffolk.


Public Health; wellbeing; young people; rurality


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