Co-creating science communication and research with young people about their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic

Nina Maindal*, Signe Herbers Poulsen, Kristian Oddershede, Mathias Sejerkilde, Stine Breiner Pedersen, Manizha Haghju, Emma Sinclair, Anne Harrits, Ulrik Bak Kirk, Jacob Sherson, Gitte Kragh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearchpeer-review


During the COVID-19 lockdown, many young individuals faced significant mental health challenges as their daily lives underwent radical changes. They were confined to their homes and deprived of regular social activities. In the project "Giving Young People a Voice," we took the initiative to engage young individuals in two-way science communication regarding their mental health, as well as co-creation of coping strategies to empower them. Furthermore, we engaged five of the young people as co-researchers and workshop facilitators. Through three iterative and participatory workshops we actively involved more than 150 (16-20 y/o) young individuals in a co-creative process. The initial workshop focused on the challenges and benefits the young people experienced during the COVID-19 lockdown. In the following workshop, a group of young individuals undertook the task of analyzing these reflections. In the third workshop, a separate group of young participants effectively translated the synthesized reflections into actionable recommendations or advice. Finally, the collaboration was documented by a mixed method approach containing both interviews, observations, and a questionnaire. Results demonstrated value creation for all participants and provided valuable insights for enhancing two-way science communication and co-creation. We propose that involving young co-researchers can be an effective approach to engaging other young people in research through peer-to-peer communication and fostering meaningful participation for all.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateOct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023
EventCitizen Science for Health Conference 2023 - University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 29 Oct 20231 Nov 2023


ConferenceCitizen Science for Health Conference 2023
LocationUniversity of Twente
Internet address


  • Citizen science
  • Co-creation
  • Science Communication
  • Mental health
  • Covid-19


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