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06/12/17 00:01

Young people take on mental health

Commission to research services for children and adolescents.

Young people will lead an in-depth, 15-month study into child and adolescent mental health services to recommend improvements to Ministers.

Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt announced £95,000 to establish the Youth Commission on Mental Health Services – a partnership between the Scottish Government, Young Scot and the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Ms Watt said:

“The Youth Commission is an opportunity for us to better understand the current picture of support for children and adolescents across Scotland. These young people will do their own research, identify issues that are important to them, and speak to experts, policymakers and service providers to look at areas for improvement.  

“It is fitting that this initiative will launch during the Year of Young People 2018. It is vital the commission draws from the experience and knowledge of young people from across the whole of Scottish society, and I would particularly encourage those who have experienced the care system, are disabled, or faced discrimination because of race or sexual orientation to share their experience.”

Billy Watson, SAMH Chief Executive said:

“Half of all mental health problems in adulthood start by mid-teens and three-quarters by mid-20s, so it’s crucial we place young people at the heart of finding solutions to improve services now and for generations to come.

“We look forward to working with young people and our partners, and trust this work and its recommendations will lead to a step change in the provision of mental health services for children and young people across Scotland.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot said:

“Support to develop positive mental health is a key issue for young people and is raised in nearly all of Young Scot’s work with young people across Scotland. We are delighted to work with the Scottish Government and SAMH throughout the Year of Young People 2018 and beyond to look at this important topic.

“The Youth Commission on Mental Health Services has an exciting opportunity to shape the future of Scotland’s mental health services for all young people.”