A Personal Account: How the Humber Youth Action Group helped me secure my future in mental health care

Published: 18 August 2023 to 31 December 2098

HYAG ailsa article image

With the recent launch of the Youth Wellbeing and Recovery College at our Trust, we spoke to a member of the Humber Youth Action Group, who helped co-create it.

Ailsa Moan told us about her experience of being a part of the group and how she feels it has led on to giving her new opportunities and helped her achieve her dream of studying  Mental Health Nursing at Kings College London.


How the Humber Youth Action Group helped me secure my future in mental health care

By Ailsa Moan


I always knew I wanted to work within healthcare and making the decision to join the Humber Youth Action Group (HYAG) was a perfect way to begin my journey. During my time at college, where I studied a Health and Social Care Extended Diploma, I had to complete work experience. It proved very difficult to find a placement that would take students on, particularly students who had little or no experience within healthcare. This is how I found the HYAG and learned of the opportunities it gave someone like myself with an interest in healthcare wanting more experience.

After managing to find a placement in an area that was specific to my interest in mental health nursing, I decided to join the HYAG in order to expand my knowledge and understanding of the wider work within the health sector and NHS. The HYAG was set up by the Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust to bring young people together as a forum for making positive changes and working together for better outcomes.

The HYAG has allowed me to meet new people from different walks of life and some who have experience of using the NHS services themselves. Having not suffered from mental health issues like this myself, it was so valuable meeting people who had experienced problems with their mental health and hear their stories. By participating in the HYAG, it has allowed me listen and understand other participants’ daily challenges where they felt comfortable to share within the group.

I believe being a part of the Humber Youth Action Group has helped me reach certain goals and aspirations I set myself. Which has led me to my next step and in September 2023 I will be starting at Kings College in London to study a degree in Mental Health Nursing. During my application process for university, I had to attend several interviews and I found myself naturally bringing up the HYAG as a way to understand and answer the questions.

In particular, I often spoke of the Youth Recovery College, which I am proud to say that we as a group helped co-create. I explained how the group has furthered my knowledge of how the NHS works behind the scenes, due to the guest speakers that came onto our meetings as well as the stories group members share whilst talking about topics specific to their experience. Thanks to this experience and exposure to real life issues and creating the solutions, I found I had great success within my interviews and was so pleased to have received an unconditional offer from Kings College.

As I touched on in the beginning, I always had a passion for working within the NHS. For a long time, I thought that desire was to be a paramedic, however after having completed my work placement in a mental health recovery house I found that my aspirations changed. Within the recovery house, people who had previously been sectioned due to their mental health condition were now regaining their independence and I enjoyed being a part of their recovery.

As well as everything I have learned within the HYAG and personal circumstances where I found that bad outcomes in mental health can affect people you never thought it would affect I am pleased I can work towards helping people recover. I found my passion and motivation grow stronger and found myself excited to help others and grow my understanding further because there is still so much that I do not know.

Without the experience I gained through working with HYAG and the confidence it gave me to go forward with my dreams I might not be about to take this exciting next step in my life. I would urge any other young people who want to get into healthcare but aren’t sure how to look into joining the Humber Youth Action Group. I think so many more people could benefit from this to help them with their next step or just to meet a great group of people.

  • Summary:

    With the recent launch of the Youth Wellbeing and Recovery College at our Trust, we spoke to a member of the Humber Youth Action Group, who helped co-create it.

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