Research seminar presented by Lynne Gilmour

A TCELT Research seminar presented by Lynne Gilmour is being held on Wednesday 8 January 2020 entitled "Creative ways of gaining informed consent".

Recent societal changes have resulted in children being considered as autonomous agents. Children rights legislation promotes that children should be consulted in research, that they have a right to be heard, listened to, and consulted on matters that affect them. MRC guidelines encourage researchers to include children in research not just as participant subjects, but as collaborators throughout the life cycle of the research project.

Much has been written about the challenges of involving children in research, and issues of informed consent continue to dominate. Researchers also report that the involvement of children in research often remains tokenistic and attempts to involve marginalised or vulnerable children in research about sensitive topics continues to be difficult. 

Involving children who have been suicidal in research understandably requires rigorous consideration of ethical issues. Ensuring that consent is informed is essential.

There is an emerging evidence base to support the use of visual images and comics in the consent process with minors. Asking young people to design and develop an animation to support the informed consent process offered a creative solution to addressing this issue, as well as involving children and young people as collaborators.

Three teenagers worked with an experienced film maker to create an original film animation. They welcomed the opportunity to be part of a real-life research project and felt strongly about being able to help children who had felt suicidal be able to engage in research, and have their voice heard. The impact of the animation can be identified on many levels and goes far beyond ticking the box of involving children and young people in research, providing an exemplar of collaborative working.

The discussion that follows could be prompted by the following questions:

Who are the gatekeepers?

Is it ok to interview young people who are suicidal without their parent’s consent?

Red Tape & Negotiating the ethical and governance landscape. 

Lynne Gilmour is an ESRC funded PhD student based at the NMAPH RU, University of Stirling. Her research explores the pathways of care for, and experiences of children and young people who are suicidal in Scotland, after they are referred to CAMHS. Lynne employs a children’s rights based approach, values participation by children and young people, and believes their voice must be a central part of research. With a background in Sociology, Lynne is also interested in exploring discourses around suicidality in children.

Prior to returning to academia, Lynne spent 18 years working directly with children and young people who had experienced trauma in a variety of contexts. Beginning as a project worker in a hostel for young homeless people, she was then mental health project worker for young women who were survivors of child sexual abuse, before setting up and delivering a service for children and young people who were either suicidal or self-harming, under Choose Life. She then went on to manage therapeutic children’s homes, and held other third sector posts such as a training officer, children’s services manager and children’s advocacy worker.​

Date:  8 January 2020
Time: 12.30pm - 13.30pm
Venue:  Peter's Building, Peter's Board Room, 0.02