Members of Parliament are due to debate the Government’s response to the British Youth Council’s Youth Select Committee report on ‘Young People’s Mental Health’ in the House of Commons on Thursday 27th October 2016. The backbench debate has been secured by Helen Hayes MP, Member of Parliament for Dulwich, who is looking to scrutinise the Government’s progress since publishing their response.
Mental health has remained a top priority for the British Youth Council for a number of years now. Young people in our membership have called for mental health services to be more accessible and youth-friendly; for the Government to make greater investments; and for the stigma around mental health to be challenged. The British Youth Council welcomes the news that Members of Parliament have taken up the cause – this is a huge positive contribution towards addressing young people’s concerns around their mental health provision. As such, the British Youth Council are mobilising young people to contact their MPs and ask them to:
- Attend the debate on 27th October and speak out positively in support of young people’s mental health as a priority
- Tweet their support for the debate using #ourminds.
The Youth Select Committee embarked on an inquiry in the spring of 2015 seeking to explore the state of young people’s health services. In November 2015, the Committee launched it’s report where it made recommendations across three key areas: funding and the state of services; the role for education and raising awareness; and tackling stigma and the role of digital culture in this. The Government’s response, co-authored by the Department for Education and Department of Health, acknowledged mental health and well-being as a ‘top priority in both departments’; and they acknowledged that young people’s mental health had been “undervalued, underfunded and under prioritised for far too long”.
Rhys Hart, Chair of the Youth Select Committee said:
“I am delighted to hear Members of Parliament are debating the Government’s response to the Youth Select Committee’s report into ‘Young People’s Mental Health’. It is evident that mental health continues to be a priority for young people across the UK, so it’s important it doesn’t slip off the agenda as we battle to ensure services are improved for the better.”
Anna Barker, Chair of the British Youth Council said:
“The Youth Select Committee’s extensive investigation into young people’s mental health gave the Government some very clear recommendations on what was needed to improve young people’s mental health services and it is really encouraging to hear it is being kept on the agenda.”