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Young people take simple steps towards positive mental health

Young people are speaking out about positive steps their peers can take to have good mental health.

front row: Renfrewshire Council’s youth services team Lizzie McLean and Laura McAuley, Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, Youth Commission member Jack Vaughan, and Renfrewshire Youth Voice member Adrian McKechnie

Members of the Youth Commission, Renfrewshire Youth Voice, the Youth Forum, LGBT+ youth group and Renfrewshire’s MSYPs took to the streets to showcase the simple ways young people can support their mental health – including walking around the town.

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, gets shown the Young Scot website by Renfrewshire Youth Voice member and member of the Youth Commission, Osama Nadeem

Education and Children’s Services Convener of Renfrewshire Council, Councillor Jim Paterson, met up with the young people at the Young Scot trailer set up in Paisley town centre.

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, talks with Renfrewshire Youth Voice and Youth Commission members Adrian McKechnie and Osama Nadeem.

The trailer is a meeting place for young people during the October school holidays to share their opinions on what a youth hub for Renfrewshire would look like as well as what they want to see as part of a year of culture for Paisley.

Youth Commission members Graeme Wilson and Jack Vaughan outside the Young Scot trailer at the Cenotaph in Paisley town centre

A major strand of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 is mental health and wellbeing, which is the result of the work of Renfrewshire Youth Voice and the first-ever Youth Assembly held in the area.

While there, Councillor Paterson learned about the #FollowYourFeet social media campaign and the ‘Strolling, Strolling, Strolling Wellbeing Walk’, which has been organised by young people in support of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

Graeme Wilson and Amylouise Busby, two of the young people involved in the Youth Commission, said: “There are plenty of simple steps young people can take that will have a profound effect on their mental health, such as taking a walk, meeting up with friends or joining a youth group.

“We know good mental health is important to young people and we wanted to involve all young people in the #FollowYourFeet campaign by asking everyone to post what makes them feel good or what inspires them on social media.”

The #FollowYourFeet social media campaign comes just a few weeks before the Youth Commission will hold a symposium in Renfrewshire Council’s headquarters, Renfrewshire House, on their key findings.

Councillor Paterson said: “Young people have told us that their mental health matters to them and it is vital that we understand what they need to be supported. The Youth Commission Symposium will be a fantastic opportunity for young people to tell us what they have found out about mental health in Renfrewshire and what everyone can do to ensure that all young people have positive mental health.”

Amylouise added: “Next week, the Youth Commission will be holding a Symposium to answer questions about what we have researched and what decision makers, parents and the community can do to support good mental health in young people. We also know that there is a lot young people can do together and as we prepare to give our evidence on our findings, we want to gather further support from young people in Renfrewshire to show that by following their feet, they can improve their mental health.”

To find out more about the Youth Commission, visit young.scot/renfrewshire.