South Ayrshire Youth Conference - Say it Out Loud!

 16 November 2016  |  

Youngsters learn more about positive mental health

Youngsters learn more about positive mental health

The eighth South Ayrshire Youth Conference has successfully highlighted positive mental health to young people including representatives from all our secondary schools.

88 youngsters aged 11-25 went along to the half day conference which took place at the start of November - with 99% of young people attending saying they felt 'valued and listened to'.

Codie Hodge, one of South Ayrshire's Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament and Chair of the South Ayrshire Youth Forum revealed that in a recent survey 1197 young people said the main issues facing them are low mood/ depression, anxiety and also managing behaviour and anger as well as self-harm.

These issues were discussed during the youth conference's interactive workshops which also covered positive mental health themes including Good Food Good Mood, Mental Health 1st Aid and Creativity and Mindfulness.

Young people felt the conference was a hit — some of the comments included:

"It makes a difference knowing that there are so many others that feel the same as I do"

"Enjoyed interacting with the people doing the talks and learning more"

"It was good having my opinions listened to".

Councillor Margaret Toner, Lifelong Learning Portfolio Holder at South Ayrshire Council said: "I am delighted young people attending the conference got so much out of it. It was clear during discussions that some have already experienced dealing with mental health issues so the messages of support and opportunity resonated.

"The pressures and strains of modern life can have a detrimental effect on our wellbeing which makes positive mental health so important. We will continue to work with our partners to highlight mental health issues and tackle the problem head on."

Codie Hodge, Chair of South Ayrshire Youth Forum said: "I was so pleased to find out mental health was the main focus of the youth conference this year as it's a topic I hold close to my heart.

"It was amazing to hear some of the feedback with many feeling a sense of relief that the taboo subject of mental health was finally being openly discussed. Some of the actions we got from consulting with everyone were amazing and I look forward to myself and other pupils taking them forward in all the schools across South Ayrshire."