Young people to lead review of mental health services

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Young people are to be recruited to lead an in-depth Scottish government study into child and adolescent mental health services.

Between 15 and 20 people aged 14-22 , from a variety of backgrounds, will be selected as part of the new youth commission on mental health services.

The working group will report back to ministers with recommendations.

Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt announced £95,000 of funding to establish the new commission.

She 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."

Half of all mental health problems in adulthood start by mid-teens and three-quarters by mid-20s, according to the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Ms Watt called on those who have experienced the care system, are disabled or faced discrimination because of race or sexual orientation to take part.

'Look forward'

The new project will last for 15 months.

SAMH chief executive Billy Watson, said: "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, added: "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."

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