Youth Select Committee launch inquiry into mental health

21 April 2015

The Youth Select Committee announced a new inquiry into mental health, where it will explore issues around education, awareness and services.

The Youth Select Committee (YSC) - a British Youth Council initiative supported by the House of Commons and now in its fourth year - will look at the following issues as part of its inquiry:

  • What is the impact of mental health issues on young people’s education? Do teachers and others working with young people receive sufficient training?
  • What more could be done to prevent stigma and discrimination towards young people with mental health issues?
  • What is the quality/impact of online information? Could it be made more accessible to young people? What is the impact of websites such as sites which promote self-harm?
  • Are changes needed to the provision of mental health services? Are they accessible and appropriate for young people? If not, what could be done to improve them?

In addition, the Committee would like to hear the views of people under 18 on the following questions:

  • What has been your experience of mental health services?
  • Do you feel informed about the support available to you?

Rhys Hart, 18, Chair of the Youth Select Committee, said:

“Mental Health is a sensitive and important topic for young people, ranging from stress to suicide and school support to hospitalisation. To investigate this the Youth Select Committee will need to demonstrate care and capability in its approach. I am absolutely positive that we will create an extensive and strong report fed by diverse pieces of evidence to be able to develop considered recommendations to the government".

The YSC will hold oral evidence sessions in the House of Commons in June and July 2015.

Mental health was chosen as the subject for the inquiry by the UK Youth Parliament at its annual sitting in November 2014.

Call for evidence - how to respond

Interested groups or individuals are encouraged to submit written evidence to the inquiry. Responses should be submitted by no later than noon on 22 May. 

Responses should ideally be sent by e-mail to [email protected]. The body of the e-mail should include a name and contact details.

It should be clear who the submission is from, particularly whether it is on behalf of an organisation or in the name of an individual.

If you do not have access to e-mail, you may send a paper copy of your response to the Clerk of the Youth Select Committee, Internal Audit, Care of the Office of the Chief Executive, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA.

It assists the Committee if those submitting written evidence adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Written submissions should be in Word or Rich Text Format wherever possible;
  • Submissions should as short as is consistent with conveying the relevant information. As a rough guide, it is usually helpful if they can be confined to 1,500 words (about 4 pages) or less;
  • Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference.
  • A summary of the main points at the start of the submission is helpful.

Evidence that is submitted will be published on the British Youth Council website.

For an inquiry-related questions, please contact the inquiry team on [email protected] 

Further information

The Youth Select Committee (YSC) is a British Youth Council initiative, supported by the House of Commons. The eleven committee members are aged 13-18 and include Members of the Youth Parliament, Youth Councillors, a Youth Mayor and representatives from each of the devolved nations.

The 2013 YSC inquiry looked into the role of the education system and the national curriculum in equipping young people with the skills for later life.

Image: Parliamentary copyright / Jessica Taylor

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