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Why Young People's
Mental Health is so Important

There is increasing national concern about young people's mental wellbeing (government research indicates 10% of young people experience serious mental health problems) and mental health issues underline many of the problems that result in social exclusion.
(Towards a Healthier Scotland - A White Paper on Health (1999.

Young people have very misinformed and unbalanced images of mental illness and derogatory language in relation to mental health is common, with 40% of young people believing people with mental health problems are more likely to be violent.
(The Tomorrow's Minds Report).


For many years HUG members have been saying it is important to raise awareness of mental health issues with young people, ideally at as early an age as possible. Currently we are developing educational and awareness raising work with young people (aged approximately 15-18) in schools and youth and community groups.

HUG members believe this to be of great importance for a number of reasons:

  • Young people have very misinformed and unbalanced images of mental illness, and we believe it is vital to redress this imbalance with open and honest discussions on a range of mental health issues with adolescents in schools and youth groups.

  • Many people who use mental health services say that young people can be the cause of great distress due to their damaging and negative views of people with a mental illness. Members have reported of adolescents throwing stones at their homes and shouting derogatory comments on the street.

  • A substantial number of HUG members first experienced mental health problems during their teenage years and now say that if there had been open discussions about mental illness whilst they were at school and had not been a 'taboo' subject, it is possible the impact of their illnesses could have been minimized.



Highland Users Group
Tel: (01463 723560) — Email:





Young People