Apply for Scotland’s Youth Commission on Mental Health

22nd January 2018

Young people aged 14-22 will be working with the Scottish Government to shape mental health services in Scotland, as recruitment begins for a new Youth Commission on Mental Health Services. 

Up to 20 young people from across Scotland are being recruited to develop recommendations on how child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) should be provided for young people and what mental health services can and should look like in the future. Their findings and ideas will be shared with the Scottish Government to shape future mental health service delivery, policy and strategy. 

Young people with experience or an interest in mental health services or improving mental wellbeing are being encouraged to join the Youth Commission. Taking place in Year of Young People 2018, the Commission will be supported by Young Scot and Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), to run the 15-month project.

Applications open on 22 January 2018 and will close on 9 February 2018. Potential applicants should visit for more information.

The young people will be involved in gathering evidence, encouraging debate and inspiring conversation on mental health, as well as advising Scottish Government Ministers on how mental health services available in Scotland could be developed or improved to meet the needs of Scotland’s young people. 

The Commission will take place during Year of Young People 2018, which provides a platform for young people’s voices to be heard and acted upon. When planning the Year, young people chose health and wellbeing as key theme for the year. 

The Youth Commission was announced by Minister for Mental Health Maureen Watt in December 2017. The Scottish Government’s Mental Health Strategy, which was published in 2017, sets out a vision where people ask once, get help fast when it comes to mental health services. The Youth Commission on Mental Health Services will help to make this ambition become a reality.

Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health, said:

“Often people develop long term mental ill health in their childhood or young adulthood, so it is very important that we identify the problem and tackle it as early as possible. Prevention and early intervention is a key part of how we approach mental health in Scotland and I want to encourage any young person with views or experience on this to seriously consider applying for the commission.

“We want to improve services and, vitally, strip away any stigma in experiencing mental ill health and seeking help. We want people to recognise that they need to care for their mental health as they would their physical health and I think the work done by the Youth Commission in Mental Health will be one of the most important legacies of Year of Young People in 2018.”

Billy Watson, Chief Executive of SAMH said:

“Half of all mental health problems in adulthood start by mid-teens, so it’s crucial we place young people at the heart of finding solutions. This is a really exciting opportunity for young people to get involved in helping improve mental health services now and for the future.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot, said:

“The Youth Commission on Mental Health is an incredible opportunity for young people to take the lead and co-design solutions for Scotland’s mental health services alongside SAMH, The Scottish Government, front line professionals and other young people. Young people across Scotland are passionate about mental health issues and Year of Young People 2018 to provides a great platform to look at the topic of mental health”