Schools debate in Wales

RCPsych Wales held the latest in a series of mental health debates for young people in Wales this month, and asked the question: “Can young people prevent climate change?”

Chaired by Delyth Jewell MS, Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Energy and Transport, the event saw both primary and secondary schools contribute passionately to the debate, which was held in Welsh and English.

The debate culminated in an uplifting panel discussion between Dr Jo Doherty, Dr Kathryn Speedy, Megan Barker and Oliver John. This event was the precursor to an in person debate in partnership with the Senedd in February 2023.

In February, the theme of the young people’s debate was ‘Does technology improve your mental health?’ Two poetry workshops on the theme were later held in primary schools in Cardiff, which inspired the Welsh Children’s Poet Laureate, Connor Allen, to produce a poem, Keys to the Future, which was launched alongside an animated video in October.

After December’s online event Delyth Jewell commented:

“These are such important debates to hold. It’s so important to encourage young people to express themselves and to tell us as politicians and decision-makers what they feel we should be doing.

“They are the generation who are going to be most affected by climate change, yet they have the least influence. We have to turn that around and make sure that they have the platform and we are there to listen.”

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