A Dundee teenager is leading the battle to improve mental health services as part of a Scottish Government initiative.
Arianne King, 14, has been selected to be part of the Youth Commission on Mental Health Services and will draw on her own experiences to lead a pioneering government study.
Arianne, along with the other 21 members of the Youth Commission, will gather evidence on existing services, encourage debate among young people and develop recommendations for ministers and service providers on how child and adolescent mental health services can be improved.
The teenager said: “People I’m close to and family have suffered with mental health issues and I have seen them struggle to get the support they need, so I am happy I could help.
“It means a lot to me to be able to help people.”
The initiative is a partnership between the Scottish Government, Young Scot and the Scottish Association for Mental Health.
Mental health is a key theme of the Year of Young People 2018.
Mental Health Minister Maureen Watt said:“It is vital that we recognise that good mental wellbeing is as important as physical health and periods of ill mental health can be recovered from with treatment and support.
“The work of the young commissioners will guide how we improve the mental health services available to young people, and just as importantly, I want the discussion around their work to break down the unjustified stigma that persists around seeking treatment or experiencing poor mental health.
“This is the Year of Young People 2018 and this commission gives us an opportunity to deliver real change, based on evidence and experience, and create a society and health service that better meets the mental and physical health needs of our children and young people.”
Billy Watson, SAMH chief executive added: “This is a really exciting opportunity for young people to make their voices heard and to be at the heart of improving mental health services for now and for generations to come.”