November 2016 - Ella Robertson, service user member, child and adolescent faculty, RCPsych in Scotland
27 October, 2016
Our Blog for this month is written by Ella Robertson. Ella is one of the Service User members of the Child and Adolescent Faculty of the College in Scotland. As part of our programme of engagement with Scottish Political Party Conferences we organised a joint Fringe meeting at the SNP Conference in the SECC in Glasgow on the 14th October with our friends and neighbours, the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health. Despite our Fringe meeting being in the furthest venue from the main auditorium (truly on the 'Fringe') we had a reasonable number of delegates attending. We were very grateful to Maree Todd MSP for the Highlands and Islands who Chaired the meeting and, of course, to our excellent panel of speakers. I will let Ella tell you about her involvement.
Karen Addie, Manager, RCPsych in Scotland
This month I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Scottish Nationalist Party’s Conference to discuss why prevention is better than a cure for young people’s mental health. I joined Dr Anne McFadyen Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Dr Shiuli Russell, Consultant Paediatrician to make up the panel.
Each of us did a small individual talk; I focussed mine on education and what can be done in schools to improve young people’s mental health which is, as we all know, a growing and very current issue. I advocated an approach of transparency and honesty around mental health based on a three prong approach:
- Providing young people with the facts about Mental Health
- A school culture of openness around Mental Health
- Links between schools and Mental Health services to improve knowledge of what help is available
The hope is that by following these three themes an environment can be created in schools where nobody is afraid to discuss their own mental health, or caringly enquire as to how someone else is mentally. In addition, awareness of the facts around mental illness, as well as exposure to the treatments and staff who are in place to support anyone experiencing issues, will hopefully provide a large knowledge base; reducing confusion, and with that fear.
My hope is that through developing these areas we can create a world where there is no stigma or fear around mental health and young people are empowered to ask for the help they need, and know where to get it.
Ella Robertson, Service User Member, Child and Adolescent Faculty, Royal College of Psychiatrists in Scotland