The Welsh Youth Parliament has begun a new consultation to find out what young people think about mental health and wellbeing in Wales.
The official launch took place on Monday, 24 February at Gower College in Swansea and Ysgol David Hughes School in Anglesey.
Pupils and students at both took part in workshop sessions and filled in surveys with their own thoughts and experiences.
Mental health and wellbeing of young people is one of the three priorities the Parliament voted for during its first meeting in February 2019. It is now exactly one year since the first ever Welsh Youth Parliament meeting.
Here’s what some of the Members who are on the Emotional and Mental Health Support Committee have to say about the issue.
Ifan Price (Dwyfor Meirionydd, North Wales)
“When I went around my constituency speaking to young people there was a lot of things that frightened me. One of these things was how many people need support with their mental health, the second is the lack of support available and the third was the number of people that don’t even know that there is support available for them if they are struggling. Simply, we need a lot more services for young people that struggle with their mental health.”
Emily Kaye (Llanelli, Mid and West Wales)
“If mental health is such a common issue why is it being treated as an excuse or a choice. This needs to change and now is the time for us to make that happen. Education, dialogue and support must be the key areas in which these issues are addressed. Mental health can effect anyone and it is absolutely crucial that those who need the support and guidance are given the proper means and resources to do so.”
Thomas Comber (Delyn, North Wales)
“One in every ten young people deals with mental health issues on a daily basis and this is on the rise. What makes matters worse is that the services we have to help young people and support young people with their mental Health issues simply cannot cope with the amount of young people who do suffer. We now see a waiting list with CAMHS which can be over a year long.”
The consultation will run until 8 August 2020 and, as well as an online survey, will involve workshops at schools and youth organisations across the country in order to establish the clearest picture possible of what young people think about mental health and wellbeing, and the support services available to help them.
During July 2020, events will also be hosted to provide children and young people with the opportunity to have their say and feed in further to the work.
6 July – Cardiff City Stadium
10 July – Glasdir, Llanrwst
The Welsh Youth Parliament’s findings will be used to make recommendations to the Welsh Government about how to improve services.
Any young people, schools or youth organisations wanting to get involved can find more information on the Welsh Youth Parliament website.