NORTHERN IRELAND’S BIGGEST INITIATIVE GETTING YOUNG PEOPLE INVOLVED IN MENTAL HEALTH POLICY.
The Young People’s Well-being Council is Pure Mental’s biggest initiative yet to get young people involved in developing mental health policy with particular focus on mental health in education, issues facing disadvantaged and vulnerable young people, and on tackling the stigma surrounding opening up and talking about how we feel. The Council consists of forty young people aged between 14 and 22 years old. We aim to involve young people from a range of backgrounds such as those who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, from ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+, in foster care, or have faced significant hardship or vulnerability in their life and give them the platform to participate in the conversation on mental health. These forty young people are split into 4 committees – Pax, Ulysses, Rhodes and Echo, where they will meet every eight weeks with Pure Mental NI Directors and the YPWBC Team, to help steer the focus of what Pure Mental hopes to achieve, to aid in our research efforts and to give valuable insight and information on mental health services, support and more from their own unique perspectives and experiences through being members of the council. This all adds to Pure Mental’s current research and lobbying efforts, allowing us to tailor our work to ensure it helps and represents those who will benefit most from reform and improvement to current mental health services and education.