An inquiry into how young people access mental health support in Scotland is being launched by the Public Petitions Committee
The inquiry was launched after the Committee received a range of evidence in relation to a petition by Annette McKenzie, whose 16 year old daughter, Britney Mazzoncini, died after being prescribed medication from her GP, having sought help for anxiety.
The focus of the Committee's inquiry will be to improve the ways young people can seek help and support, particularly for the first time, if they are feeling low or anxious.
Public Petitions Committee Convener Johann Lamont MSP said:
“From the evidence we've already gathered, it's clear that we need to look at how young people seek help for their mental health and that the right services are available and accessible for those who are feeling anxious or stressed.
"We therefore want to collect as many views as possible and the Committee is particularly keen to understand the experiences of young people under the age of 18 who are seeking help for the first time. These vital voices will help to shape our inquiry work.
"As well as those under the age of 18, views are being sought from parents and carers of young people, non-specialist mental health workers who provide services to young people, such as GPs, teachers and social workers, counsellors and relevant professional organisations."
The Committee is interested in exploring the following areas:
• If young people are feeling low and/or anxious, who would they ask for help and why?
• Do young people know the different ways they can get help for their low mood and/or anxiety?
• If a young person has been referred to CAMHS, but rejected from accessing these services, were they directed to other kinds of support?
• In Scotland, anyone over the age of 16 can consent to medical treatment or intervention without needing their parent or guardian's consent. Should this age be increased to 18 years old?
• If a young person has experience of moving from receiving children's mental health services to adult mental health services, what was that like?
How to submit your views
The deadline for submitting your views is Friday 14 December at 5pm.
You can contribute to this inquiry by submitting either a written submission and/or providing your views through Dialogue at http://parliament.scot/mental-health-dialogue
We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language. Due to the time required to process and analyse evidence, late submissions will only be accepted with the agreement of the Committee. Written responses should be sent electronically, to: [email protected]