In July this year, the Scottish Youth Parliament published a report titled Our Generation’s Epidemic: Young people’s awareness and experience of mental health information, support, and services.
This report presents the findings of one of the largest surveys undertaken in Scotland that focuses on young people’s mental health, and its recommendations. It provides a route map for a series of steps the Scottish Government, local authorities, and the NHS can take to tackle the anomalies that are failing this generation, and ensure that all young people in Scotland have access to high quality mental health information, education, support, and services.
The key findings show that young people in Scotland feel that there are a number of issues with mental health services, including accessibility, lack of confidentiality, not being taken seriously due to age, and non-person-centred treatment.
27% of young people do not feel supported to talk about mental health in their school, college, university, or workplace
74% do not know what mental health information, support, and services are available in their local area.
It recommends that all schools, colleges, and universities provide high quality information about mental health, and direct young people to safe online resources such as Aye Mind. It also recommends that Education Scotland should develop a Mental Health Standard for schools to increase the focus on mental health in the Curriculum for Excellence, and in conjunction with the Scottish Government, should review the provision of counsellors in schools and seek to establish a minimum level of service provision. There is cross-party political agreement for the need for improvements in mental health education and services, especially for young people.
For more information, and a full list of the key findings and recommendations, read the full report below.