Emotional and Mental Support most pressing issue in Welsh Youth Parliament poll
Young people across Wales want the new Welsh Youth Parliament to look at the issues around emotional and mental support when it meets in full for the first time next month.
In a nationwide service, young people were asked – "Over the past six months, we've been asking young people across Wales what issues matter most to them. We've collected over 2,000 issues and grouped them under the following categories. Which three issues do you think the Welsh Youth Parliament should be discussing?"
More than 3000 young people aged between 11-18 across Wales responded with mental health and emotional wellbeing emerging as the most pressing issue to be looked at for the majority of them.
Emotional and mental support was chosen by 36 per cent of those who took part in the survey. Homelessness (27%), bullying and cyberbullying (21%) and job opportunities for young people (19%) also ranked highly.
The results of the poll were:
Emotional and Mental Health Support
Bullying and cyberbullying
Life Skills in the Curriculum (including Finance, Politics and Sexual Education)
Work Opportunities for Young People
The 60 members of the Welsh Youth Parliament will meet in the Senedd in Cardiff and finalise the three subjects they want to focus on during their two year term as members.
Members will meet for a three-day residential at the end of February which will include a full meeting of the Welsh Youth Parliament for the first time.
Lloyd Mann is the Welsh Youth Parliament Member for Monmouth and has written a blog on mental health issues for the Welsh Youth Parliament website:
"I'd like see teachers trained even basically in spotting signs of depression and anxiety and how to deal with them.
"If a teacher sees a student has not completed their work because they're suffering from depression but has not recognised that then they will shout at them which will simply make the student feel even worse.
"If that teacher is able to recognise that student is upset and talk to them then it could make all the difference."
Elin Jones AM, Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales, said:
"During Children's Mental Health week it is particularly poignant to learn that emotional and mental wellbeing is so important to the young people of Wales.
"This poll will inform the priorities of our Youth Parliament Members as they prepare for their first full meeting in a few weeks' time.
"By giving this important issue a platform, I hope the Youth Parliament's discussions will encourage more young people throughout Wales to talk openly with their peers about mental health."
40 Welsh Youth Parliament Members were democratically-elected in the first ever election held in November last year and will represent the 40 constituencies in Wales.
More than 470 candidates stood across the country.
A further 20 members are chosen by partner organisations to better reflect the diverse communities across the country including people from cared for backgrounds, ethnic minorities and the LGBT community.
More information about the Welsh Youth Parliament can be found at www.youthparliament.wales.