Blog: Youth Commission on Mental Health Services – Neva Brown

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The Scottish Government, SAMH and Young Scot are working in partnership delivering a 15-month Youth Commission on Mental Health Services to involve discussions, encourage debate and gather evidence. This will progress to develop a set of solutions and recommendations from young people to the Scottish Government and other service providers. These recommendations will focus on how child and adolescent mental health services can be developed and improved for young people in Scotland both now and in the future.

My name is Neva Brown, I’m 16 from Falkirk. I am a commissioner for the Youth Commission on Mental Health Services, which is a Young Scot Co-Design group formed to gather information and experiences on Mental Health Services in Scotland and develop final recommendations. It’s a yearlong process, with a group of 21 young people aged between 13 and 22 who all have a direct interest in making these services the best they can be. In March 2019 recommendations will be made to the Scottish Government to influence future policies around mental health.

Making a Difference

This is an amazing opportunity to make a difference not only for future generations but for everyone right now. Through Co-Design we are exploring primary and secondary information we hope to improve accessibility and the mental health of young people in Scotland. Through conversations with schools, health professionals and politicians we have been able to gather a variety of views and opinions, which will later help us reflect on what needs to change.

My highlight of the project so far is seeing myself grow in confidence with the help and support of new friends. I have changed from a quiet person that would shake every time they were asked to speak, to someone willing to present at conferences.

The biggest reason I feel like the Co-Design process will work is because it involves those that use the services or know others that have tried. The greatest force for change comes from our shared experience and the Youth Commission provides young people with a voice they may not know they have.

Neva Brown

Find out more about how A&DS supports young people engaging in their places here.


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A&DS asked a number of young people to share their experience of co-design - here Amy Chalmers writes about rights in the digital world.

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