Young people invited to have their say on mental health

Young people with strong views on mental health are being invited to become part of a new local initiative to help shape future mental health decisions.

Charities Involve and Leaders Unlocked have teamed up with Oldham Council and Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group to recruit young people for MH:2K Oldham – a panel whose job will be to find out their peers’ views, experiences and ideas on key mental health issues.

MH:2K, which is open to young people aged between 14 and 25, will see the panel explore the latest information on mental health, run a roadshow of events across the city, and work with decision-makers to turn their findings into recommendations for change. It is supported by a Wellcome Trust People Award.

Cllr Eddie Moores, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “This is a project we’re really proud to be a part of. With 75 per cent of all mental health problems in adult life – excluding dementia – starting by the age of 18, it’s crucial that young people are involved in shaping future decisions.

“In Oldham we’re committed to creating a society which understands that mental health is just as important as physical health.” 

Dr Keith Jeffery, local GP and Clinical Director for Mental Health at NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group said: “As the lead health commissioner for Oldham we are keen to encourage younger people to engage with the local mental health agenda, so that they can help shape some of the future decisions that are being made in this key area of healthcare.

“It is for this reason that we have agreed to support MH:2K Oldham, which aims to play an active part in developing real solutions and recommendations to improve the services we currently commission. Young people’s mental health is a priority area for us, and we look forward to seeing the outcomes of this project as it develops, building on the successful relationships we’ve already developed with young people across the Borough.”

Sarah Allan from Involve and Rose Dowling from Leaders Unlocked said, “Young people are the only ones who truly understand what mental health pressures and issues most affect their lives. With one in ten young people today suffering from mental health problems, it’s vital that they can help shape mental health services, support and decisions.”

The partners are aiming to recruit up to 25 young people to the panel. Candidates should be good team players who are prepared to commit time and dedication to the project and are willing to participate in all the activities involved.

The deadline for applications is Friday 14 October 2016. To complete the application form, visit http://www.leaders-unlocked.org/mh2k

For more information about MH:2K, please go to www.involve.org.uk/mh2k or email Sarah Allan or Rose Dowling at: e: sarah@involve.org.uk / rose@leaders-unlocked.org

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