Members of the British Youth Council have restated the importance of young people’s mental health, calling on the UK Government to examine the impact reduced funding has had on care practitioners’ ability to deliver tailored support to suit all needs. The call comes off the back of the organisation’s Annual Council Meeting, where representatives from the national youth council’s 183 strong membership had the chance to add their concerns to the 2023-24 organisational Manifesto.
Research from NHS England found that in 2022, 18% of children aged 7 to 16 and 22% of young people aged 17 to 24 had a probable mental disorder – an increase on previous years. Household circumstances, education, employment and life in families and communities were all cited as factors that contributed towards mental well-being. The youth-led organisation stressed the importance in recognising how marginalising factors such as gender identity and ethnic background can also correlate with a young person’s experiences.
Katie Burke, Deputy Chair of the British Youth Council said, “Every young person is different, and it’s vital that mental health services are able to reflect that in the care they provide.
“We believe that Care and Mental Health Services should be developed with young people, to ensure the nuance of their experiences plays a key role in the reform of services offered.”
Last year, almost half a million young people declared health and well-being their biggest concern in Make Your Mark, a UK-wide ballot of 11 to 18 year olds, with research from The Children’s Society suggesting that children’s well-being is at an all time low. Young people aren’t getting the help they need, and the youth-led charity believes that in addition to improving care practitioners ability to deliver accessible services, increased government funding could also work to reduce the postcode lottery of provision.