Creating a ground-breaking communication and engagement strategy for children and young people’s mental health

Background and objectives

Kent and Medway integrated care board (ICB), like many other areas of the country, is seeing rising demand for children and young people’s mental health services. This, coupled with feedback from children and young people about poor communication and engagement around services led them to commission Blue Lozenge to create a communication and engagement strategy that will support the children of Kent and Medway to get the mental health support they need.


Key to the development and creation of this strategy was the insight and experience of children and young people. Throughout the entire process, from the project bid, which was co-scored by children and young people, through the early stages of the project and the research and engagement phase, children and young people shared their thoughts and insights on how they wanted to receive and engage with information about mental health services in Kent and Medway.

We delivered a programme of research and engagement as part of the project which included focus groups with children and young people at local schools and the youth councils. In addition, we spoke with the education workforce and parents and carers to understand their challenges and desires relating to mental health services in Kent and Medway. Finally, we spoke with providers of mental health services in Kent and Medway to understand the opportunities and challenges they face.

As well as working closely with children and young people, we also felt it was important to collaborate with the communications network in Kent and Medway as they would be delivering the strategy and one year plan. Their insight, skills and expertise enabled us to build a strategy that worked to those strengths while also helping identify gaps in knowledge and capacity that could be addressed in the strategy.

In addition to the engagement work we did, we gathered and evaluated research and evidence available nationally on children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing and their communication and engagement preferences. This research and insight helped us to develop a strategy that is grounded insight, research-led and evidenced-based. Alongside the strategy itself we also created a one-year plan to help support the implementation of the strategy.


We delivered a ground-breaking strategy that will support Kent and Medway ICB and its partners to deliver world-class communication and engagement around children and young people’s mental health. The one-year plan will make the implementation of the strategy achievable and pragmatic, with each small step a step closer to improving mental health outcomes for the children and young people of Kent and Medway.


“From start to finish Blue Lozenge shared our vision for creating a first-class strategy that had the voices of children and young people at its heart, while being ground in insight, evidence and research.

“Blue Lozenge’s professional, expert and pragmatic approach to the project meant they felt like an extended part of our team, working together to deliver a vital piece of work.

“We wouldn’t hesitate to work with Blue Lozenge again.”

Sue Mullin, Associate Director: Children’s Mental Health


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Project details


Kent and Medway ICB

Project type

Strategy development 

Audience research, listening and focus groups 

Community, patient and service user insight