Setting up a youth violence prevention project in a London hospital emergency department

Ilan-Clarke, Yael, Bunn, Amanda, DeMarco, Jeffrey ORCID logoORCID:, Bifulco, Antonia ORCID logoORCID:, Criddle, John and Holdsworth, Gillian (2013) Setting up a youth violence prevention project in a London hospital emergency department. Journal of Public Mental Health, 12 (2) . pp. 80-92. ISSN 1746-5729 [Article] (doi:10.1108/JPMH-09-2012-0005)


Purpose – Youth violence victimisation impacts on health, mental health and future risk trajectories. A London hospital emergency department (ED) outreach youth service provides a unique intervention opportunity to support adolescents involved in violence. The purpose of this paper is to describe the set-up of the service.

Design/methodology/approach – Young people (YP) targeted were aged 12-18, from two London boroughs and attended ED with injuries from a violent incident. They were referred to Oasis youth workers for a mentoring/youth work intervention. Lifestyle and symptom scales were used to assess risk profile. Hospital staff questionnaires determined service awareness in the first six months, and interviews/focus group identified potential barriers to service uptake.

Findings – By 12 months, the service was operating smoothly. Of the first 505 YP attending ED, a third were referred, a third ineligible and a third non-contactable/refused. Detailed analysis of the first 30 attending found most were male (87 per cent), equal White or Black ethnicity (40 per cent) with 20 per cent “Other” ethnicities, with only a third living with both biological parents. This was similar to the full population attending. Nearly half (49 per cent) had been assaulted, 30 per cent had injuries self-generated through poor anger management, the remainder injured in fighting. Over half (57 per cent) had disorder, mostly behavioural, correlated with lifestyle risk scores. Barriers to service use/implementation included YP mistrust and fear of reprisals, problems with service visibility in the busy hospital environment and ineffective staff communication with YP, all countered during the running of the service. Gauging outcome at follow-up is the second evaluation stage.

Originality/value – The youth violence project is an important initiative for intervention in youth violence.

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Behavioural disorder, Emergency departments, Evaluation, Violence, Youth, Youth violence, Youth work intervention
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Centre for Abuse and Trauma Studies (CATS)
A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Applied Health Psychology group
Item ID: 13209
Useful Links:
Depositing User: Users 3197 not found.
Date Deposited: 11 Apr 2014 15:54
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2020 16:06

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