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Young people need ‘broader support’ in mental health, recommends youth commission

Youth Commission on mental health - SAMH/YoungScot

Young people need ‘broader support’ in mental health, recommends youth commission

Young people in Scotland need mental health support from everyone involved in their lives, not just from specialist services, Scotland's first Youth Commission on Mental Health has concluded.

In a new report, the commission urges changes “not only to mental health services in Scotland but to the entire system”.

Recommendations include a standardised framework and person-centred approach across all services, a reduction in waiting times and a focus on prevention through education, support, advice and early intervention.

This would include a greater role for schools and communities, including a standardised focus on mental health in the Curriculum for Excellence.

It also called for mental health first aid training to become a standard requirement for all organisations working with young people, bringing it in line with laws on first aid training.

The commission is made up of a group of 23 young people between 15 and 25 from across Scotland, many of whom have experience of using services. They are supported by mental health charity SAMH and Young Scot.

Minister for Mental Health Clare Haughey said: “I’d like to thank the youth commission for their comprehensive report looking at how we can work together to improve mental health services for children and young people across Scotland.

“The report, and the amount of work that has gone into it, is a credit to Young Scot, SAMH and all the young people involved, who have shown bravery and tenacity in bringing their own personal experiences to this project.

“We will carefully consider how we can take the Youth Commission’s recommendations forward, and we will give you a full response in the coming months.”

Louise Macdonald, chief executive of Young Scot, said: “The Youth Commission on Mental Health Services has produced a vital report in the conversation of the future of mental health services in Scotland.”

“This report was produced by young people who are passionate about how young people can lead the way in shaping our services and setting out a vision for mental health services which benefits all young people. These recommendations are a huge step in realising how young people can act as system changers, influencing areas of their lives that affect them most."

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