Teenager’s letter to MP could trigger Westminster debate on mental health

CONCERNED -- Lucy Boardman and Andrew Bingham.
CONCERNED -- Lucy Boardman and Andrew Bingham.

An important debate could soon be held in Westminster, thanks to a letter High Peak MP Andrew Bingham received from a teenager living in the district.

Lucy Boardman alerted Mr Bingham to the subject of young people’s mental health after a report by the UK Parliament’s Youth Select Committee.

Now the MP has applied for a debate to be staged in Parliament in the near future.

Lucy, who is High Peak’s Youth MP, said: “Raising awareness regarding young people’s mental health and working to reduce the stigma surrounding it is such a vital part of the Youth Parliament’s national campaign this year. I’m so pleased Mr Bingham has offered his support.”

The report looks at three areas -- funding and the state of services, the role of education, and awareness of the subject. It makes the points that more than half of all mental-health cases start before the age of 14, and that almost 340,000 children, aged five to ten, have a mental disorder.

Mr Bingham said: “Lucy brought this to my attention a while ago. Now the report has been published, it is only right that it gets debated in Parliament. This is an issue that a lot of people don’t think about or consider very urgent. But that needs to change.”