Year 13 student Bethan Collier highlighted the importance of Youth Mental Health at a specially organised parliament meeting with MPs, including the Minister for Mental Health.

Bethan attended the Houses of Parliament recently with a charity called Youth Access, which is steering the campaign “Make Our Rights Reality” and “Our Minds Our Future”.

Over the last 18 months, Bethan Collier (Year 13 BTEC student) has been working as a rights advocate for this national youth rights project movement. She attended the Houses of Parliament to discuss key demands of the campaign with the Minister for Mental Health, Jackie Doyle-Price MP, Seema Malhotra MP and Janet Daby MP who all vowed to support the campaign.

Bethan said: “We wanted to get our key demands heard because we need them to be met to make a change for the future.”

Bethan explained why she decided to become a rights advocate: “Mental health services in the UK have been cut to breaking point, and for older children and young adults it is virtually impossible to get the help we need when our mental health is fragile. The campaign aims to get 16-25 year-olds to stand up and have a voice which will speak directly to Westminster and demand change. Our campaign calls on parliament to stop ‘patching up a broken system’ as current spending levels mean that in 2020/2021 only one in three 16-25 year olds will have access to appropriate treatment.”

This recent visit to Parliament sees Bethan continue in her mission to raise awareness of Mental Health Issues. In December, on International Human Rights day, the school supported Bethan with the launch of the national campaign, ‘Our Minds Our Future’. She called upon the support of her peers to raise awareness of the campaign by holding up meaningful statements and having their photo taken, then posting on social media with the hashtag, #MyRightsMyMind.

She added: “I am proud of the School for supporting me; the care and support at the School for mental health is amazing but it should not be limited to those lucky enough to come to Taunton School”.

Taunton School was recently a finalist in the Tes Independent School Awards for its Wellbeing Initiative. The Tes Awards recognise the most outstanding institutions in the independent sector.