Commission to research mental health services

Young people will lead an in-depth, 15-month study into child and adolescent mental health services to recommend improvements to Government Ministers.

The commission is launched as part of the 10-year Mental Health Strategy and the Scottish Government’s commitment to giving young people a stronger say in mental health policy in Year of Young People.

The 22 members of the Youth Commission on Mental Health Services begin work to reshape the support available, in a partnership between the Scottish Government, Young Scot and the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH). 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.

Youth Commissioner Hannah (17) said: “I see mental health as one piece of the puzzle that makes up all of a person’s wellbeing. Throughout my life I’ve faced challenges with my mental health and getting support which has made me eager to see what can be done to improve access to mental health services. Many people close to me also deal with mental health issues and so I know how important and wonderful it is to build a support network.

“This is an opportunity to make a difference in a system that so many people in my community rely on.”

Billy Watson, SAMH Chief Executive said: “SAMH welcomes the initiative taken by the Scottish Government to partner with SAMH and Young Scot to bring this important Youth Commission to fruition. 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.”

The commission will report their findings to the Government in Spring 2019. For the latest information on the project please visit