Information for Young People

Dear Students,

In October 2021, we are inviting students who have completed 3rd year of secondary school education in Cavan and Monaghan, to take part in the Planet Youth survey.

The survey involves filling out an anonymous questionnaire about their lifestyles, behaviour and health. The survey will take about 45 minutes and will be completed in class with your teacher present

This letter is an information leaflet about the survey. We would be grateful if you would consider reading this letter in full. We also have written a letter to your parents asking if its ok that you take part. We would be very grateful if you would discuss your wishes with them after both of you get a chance to read and consider all the information.

At the end of this letter, there is a form you can sign if you don’t wish to take part. If you don’t want to take part you can either sign the form and give it to your teacher, or just let them know on the day you don’t want to take part.

We also have a leaflet about mental health supports that are available to you locally.

Information Sheet For Young People


This study is about strengths and difficulties in your life

We ask questions about lots of different areas of life including

  • School experiences
  • Leisure time
  • Friendships
  • Sexual behaviour
  • Neighbourhood
  • Family life
  • Stressful life events
  • Substance use (Alcohol, smoking, cannabis and other drugs)
  • Mental health
  • Physical health

Our plan is to use this information to decide how we can make life more enjoyable for young people in your area. We are interested in bringing people together like teachers, youth workers, and researchers to know how to best make that happen. This survey was first developed in Iceland in the 1990s.

Type of Research Intervention – What is it?

This questionnaire is multiple choice, and its also anonymous. No one will find out how you answered questions

Selection of Participants – Why have you been asked to take part?

You have been asked to take part because you have finished 3rd year.

Voluntary Participation – Do I have to do take part?

You don’t have to take part if you don’t want to. Your decision to take part is voluntary. There are no consequences for you if you don’t want to take part.


  • This is a multiple-choice questionnaire.
  • Before you fill out the questionnaire you will watch a short video about how to do the survey.
  • Your teacher will be in the class while you are doing the survey.
  • After you fill in the survey, we will give you some information about support for your mental health and wellbeing in your area.

Duration – How long will it take?

Around 50 minutes. About one class period.

What questions do we ask in the survey?

Some questions are sensitive information. This includes questions about mental health, substance use, self-harm, information about sexual behaviour and stressful life events such as bullying.

We don’t collect information such as your name, address or date of birth. That means no one will know how you answered questions.

Risks and Discomforts: What if I find it upsetting?

A small number of people might feel upset when asked about particular stresses in their lives. Generally, we know asking people questions like in this survey doesn’t cause harm. Please tell you teacher, your parents or an adult you trust if you feel upset. They can contact us if they don’t know what to do.

Benefits – Will anything good come from it for me?

There may be benefits to taking part. We use the information collected to highlight the issues that young people are having in your area so all of us involved in the project can help do something about the issues young people like you are facing.

Reimbursements – Do I get paid?

There is no payment for taking part.


This survey is anonymous. You won’t be identified. Your information goes directly to the Icelandic Centre for Social Research and Analysis (ICSRA).
They are our research partners, and they started this program in Iceland.
Iceland is in the European Economic Area and is subject to the General Data Protection Regulation. Your data has very similar protections in Iceland as it does here. ICSRA then send the data back to us in Ireland where it is stored in the Cavan-Monaghan Education and Training Board and at RCSI.

Sharing of Research Findings

  • We will put the results of the survey on our website as soon as we can after the survey. We share summary results so you will be able to see what issues young people in general face in the area you live in.
  • We will get in contact with you and your parents or guardians through your school to let you know the results can be viewed.
  • We give your school feedback as well based on the results from your school. Based on this feedback we give your school advice around an action plan for student health.
  • No one will be able to guess who an individual is based on any information we share.

Right to refuse or withdraw

You don’t have to take part if you don’t want to. Nobody will treat you any differently whether or not you take part or not. You won’t lose out on any rights or benefits by not taking part from anyone involved in the survey. You can also decide you to stop taking part at any time, even if you are doing the survey.

Data Protection – This is how we keep your information safe

The data we store is kept safe and secure. As it is anonymous it is not subject to GDPR. This prevents individual profiling. The joint data controllers (Ms. Maureen McIntyre & Prof. Mary Cannon) and their nominated data processors will have access to the anonymous information. Following initial processing, the data will be stored indefinitely in a secure format and may be shared with scientists, healthcare professionals and researchers for further use on understanding risk and protective factors in young people’s wellbeing. The secure format it will be stored in will prevent any potential identification through profiling. The secure format the data is stored in is called FAIR. This acronym stands for Findable, Accessible, Interoperable & Reusable. Storing data in this format makes the most of your contribution to scientific research on young people’s wellbeing.

The Study Team

  • The Local study lead is Maureen McIntyre (Cavan-Monaghan Education & Training Board). The Principal Investigator (Research) is Professor Mary Cannon, Professor of Psychiatric Epidemiology and Youth Mental Health at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.
  • Co-investigators include Dr. Emmet Power (RCSI) & Andy Ogle (Cavan Monaghan Drugs and Alcohol Task Force)

Who to Contact?

If you have any questions or queries about the study, please get in contact with: Maureen McIntyre, Youth Development and Wellbeing Officer, at the Cavan-Monaghan Education and Training Board.

Planet Youth

Survey Information