Renfrewshire Council

Members of the Renfrewshire Youth Commission on Mental Health

Leader's blog: Tackling youth issues head-on

October has been a 'spooktacular' month all round, from the extremely popular Paisley Halloween Festival to the annual Spree Festival featuring Paisley's home grown musical megastar Paolo Nutini.

Our ability to throw such top quality events is testament to how well prepared we are to be crowned UK City of Culture 2021 in December. And I can assure you that, as we move towards Christmas, there are many more fun, festive activities and events set to invigorate the area.

October saw our young people getting active in the school holidays, with Renfrewshire's Street Stuff once again holding a jam-packed programme to keep them entertained. This year saw a new and exciting development with the addition of Wifi to the new Culture and Youth Buses - very popular with the youngsters!

I am always keen to talk about my continued commitment to youth issues, from mental health to school learning and development activities.

During the month, Renfrewshire's Youth Commission held a very well-received symposium on 'Young People and Mental Health', tackling a major issue that has been voted by local young people as their main concern. It takes courage to talk about mental health and I truly believe that this show of support for our young people is an early step in creating a more positive and nurturing environment for them. It's now time to focus on raising awareness and encouraging people to talk about mental health. I'm also keen to look into what can be done to improve access to our existing services.

I was privileged to meet with our five local Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) in October, along with the Council's Chief Executive, Sandra Black, and Head of Early Years and Inclusion, John Trainer. It was eye-opening to hear them talk about their constituents' issues such as availability of transport and education, and certainly showed me the value of the Scottish Youth Parliament in giving young people a voice. I look forward to more of these exchanges of ideas and I am confident of growing an increasingly productive relationship into the future.

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