As part of the ten year Mental Health Strategy announced last year a team of young people are working together to improve mental health services. They will lead a study, commissioned by The Scottish Government, and which will feature information drawn from  their own experiences.

The Youth Commission on Mental Health Services begin work this week to reshape the support available to young people, in a partnership between the Scottish Government, Young Scot and the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt said: “It is vital that we recognise that good mental wellbeing is as important as physical health and periods of ill mental health can be recovered from with treatment and support. The work of the young commissioners will guide how we improve the mental health services available to young people, and just as importantly, I want the discussion around their work to break down the unjustified stigma that persists around seeking treatment or experiencing poor mental health.

“This is the Year of Young People 2018 and this commission gives us an opportunity to deliver real change, based on evidence and experience, and create a society and health service that better meets the mental and physical health needs of our children and young people.”

Youth Commissioner Hannah (17) said: “I see mental health as one piece of the puzzle that makes up all of a person’s wellbeing. Throughout my life I’ve faced challenges with my mental health and getting support which has made me eager to see what can be done to improve access to mental health services. Many people close to me also deal with mental health issues and so I know how important and wonderful it is to build a support network.

“This is an opportunity to make a difference in a system that so many people in my community rely on.”