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Scottish Government announce £30 million increase in mental health funding following youth-led evaluation of services

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The Scottish Government yesterday announced £30 million will be put into mental health funding, drawing on the findings of Scottish Youth Parliament’s (SYP) independent evaluation into mental health support and services.

In 2022, seven Members of Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) formed the Mental Health Investigation Team to deliver a youth-led approach for evaluating community based mental health services, and called on the government to provide funding to multiple services and address the barriers that prevent high quality support and access, particularly for young people.

Speaking about the announcement, Ellie Craig MSYP, Vice Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament said:

“Young people have told their MSYPs for years that mental health support is a priority for them and we know for services to be effective, they need to be properly resourced.

“This welcome funding announcement highlights the power of youth led research into issues which affect young people. We were able to capture evidence, as peers, facilitating focus groups which would not have been possible through adult led research”

Ellie Craig MSYP, Vice Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament

Key findings in the 2022 report indicated that:

  • 66% of young people surveyed strongly agreed that “this service meets my needs”.
  • 67% of young people surveyed agreed or strongly agreed that “this service helps me to better understand my own mental health and wellbeing”.
  • 61% of young people surveyed were receiving or had received support from more than one type of mental health service.

The Scottish Government used the findings and recommendations from SYP’s report to consider the critical importance of providing mental health support to children, young people and families across Scotland and alleviating the continued impact of the pandemic. Announcing the increased funding today, the Scottish Government spoke about the evaluation and the improvement in support and services as a result of direct investment.

Following this work, MSYPs worked with partner organisations – Together: Scotland’s Alliance for Children’s Rights, Children’s Parliament, and the Children and Young People’s Commissioner for Scotland – to give evidence to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva in 2023. The Committee, in their recommendations to Government, then echoed the views of the MSYPs calling for funding to be put towards community based mental health.

Other recommendations from the report included:

  • Adopting a rights-based approach at all levels of the design and delivery for community based mental health services.
  • Increasing focus on community-based support for young people aged 16-25.
  • Improving signposting to services and support in places where children, young people and their families are, in a range of accessible formats.

For more information on Scottish Youth Parliament’s youth-led approach to evaluating community based mental health services, read our blog post from the publication of the report.

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