Government Ministers to appear before Youth Select Committee on Mental Health

Young representatives from across the UK will be questioning two Government Ministers as part of their  inquiry into mental health, focussing on awareness, education and the current services on offer for young people. Seeing is believing – the proceedings are broadcast live on BBC Democracy Live with the Ministers appearing on BBC Parliament from 4pm-5pm.

Alistair Burt MP, Minister of State for Community and Social Care and Sam Gyimah MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Childcare and Education will be giving evidence to the Youth Select Committee this Friday 3rd July 2015 in Parliament. The Youth Select Committee is a British Youth Council initiative, supported by the House of Commons. The eleven committee members are aged 13-18 and include two Members of the UK Youth Parliament (MYPs), two youth councillors, a Young Mayor, one elected representative from each of the devolved nations and three reserved seats.

James Cathcart, Chief Executive of the British Youth Council: “This youth-led enquiry by a cross section of representative young people enables and empowers the voice of youth to contribute to, and shape the policy agenda, it’s a new and credible way to engage young people in our democracy and deserves more recognition. The young people are well prepared, passionate but courteous in the questioning. Last week the House of Commons voted to permit the UK Youth Parliament to hold annual debates in the Chamber. This enquiry topic arose out of last year’s debate – and we call on MPs to debate the final report when its published in the autumn.”

Rhys Hart, Chair of the Youth Select Committee and Member of Youth Parliament for Shropshire said: “With mental health so high on the agenda for young people I’m extremely delighted that the Government will be responding to the calls of the Youth Select Committee. Our inquiry is set on finding some recommendations for improving awareness, education and the services on offer for young people and we’re extremely grateful to the practitioners, young people and charities that are prepared to stand before us to give evidence on such a hard hitting subject.”

Mental health was voted as the priority campaign of the UK Youth Parliament in their annual House of Commons debate in November 2014.This followed their Make Your Mark ballot when 876,000 young people voted and identified this it as a top five issue. The committee called on the public to submit evidence and  received over a hundred responses.

Following last week’s oral evidence session with Royal College of Psychiatrists, Healthwatch, Television Presenter Anna Williamson and more the Youth Select Committee will be hosting its second oral evidence session with practitioners from the School and Public Health Nurses Association, young people from the NHS Youth Forumand charities from Ditch The Label, , before the Ministers in the afternoon. The Youth Select Committee mirrors the UK Parliament Select Committee structure and gives young people the opportunity to scrutinise and hold enquiries into topics of importance to them. The Youth Select Committee has received induction training and mentoring from Parliamentary Clerks and British Youth Council staff.

The session will be open to the public on a first come, first served basis. For meetings in Portcullis House, the entrance is located on Victoria Embankment. There is no system for the prior reservation of seats in Committee Rooms. It is advisable to allow about 30 minutes to pass through security checks. Committee rooms and the timing of meetings are subject to change.

Find out more about the committee members. 

Find out more about our second oral evidence session