Young people to explore new mental health service solutions

5th December 2017

The Scottish Government has today announced a new partnership with SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and Young Scot to establish a Youth Commission to gather evidence and offer solutions on how mental health services for young people in Scotland can be improved.

Over the next 15 months a group of young people, aged 14 to 22, will come together to collaborate and gather evidence from government, key stakeholders and experts, communities and peers to provide a series of solutions and recommendations for action and implementation.

Billy Watson, Chief Executive of SAMH said:

“We are delighted to partner with the Scottish Government and Young Scot to establish the Youth Commission on Mental Health Services for young people.

“Half of all mental health problems in adulthood start by mid-teens and three-quarters by mid-20’s so it’s crucial we place young people at the heart of finding solutions to improve services now and for generations to come.

“We look forward to working with young people and our partners over 15 months and trust this work and its recommendations will lead to step change in the provision of mental health services for children and young people across Scotland.”

Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health said:

“This Youth Commission on Mental Health Services is an opportunity for us to better understand the current picture of support for children and adolescents across Scotland. These young commissioners will do their own research, identify issues that are important to them, speak to experts, policy makers and service providers to look at improvements that can be made.

“It is vital that the commission draws from the experiences and knowledge of young people from across the whole of Scottish society, and I would particularly encourage those who have experienced the care system, have disabilities or faced discrimination because of race or sexual orientation to share their experience.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot said:

“Support to develop positive mental health is a key issue for young people and is raised in nearly all of Young Scot’s work with young people across Scotland. We are delighted to work with the Scottish Government and SAMH throughout the Year of Young People 2018 and beyond to look at this important topic.

“The Youth Commission on Mental Health Services has an exciting opportunity to shape the future of Scotland’s mental health services for all young people.”

Recruitment for the new panel will begin in January 2018. Young people interested in taking part can email