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Highland Youth Parliament to host Breath2gether conference for mental health


By Imogen James


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Highland youth Convener Anja Johnston.
Highland youth Convener Anja Johnston.

THE annual Highland Youth Parliament (HYP) conference will take place at Canal Park on Friday.

Discussions will focus on mental health, with emphasis on peer-to-peer education and support in the Highlands.

It is expected than more than 100 people will participate in the event with representation from across the region.

There will be presentations from young people from Aberdeenshire Council who successfully established a mental health peer-to-peer education programme.

Other presenters include Centred, a mental health charity and a Ewen's Room from Lochaber who support young people's wellbeing.

Following the presentations, young people will split into local groups to plan how they can help design and replicate something similar for the Highlands.

Highland Youth Convener Anja Johnston said: “The topic of mental health is still as relevant now as it was a year ago when I took up the post of Highland Youth Convener.

“The steps forward we have seen young people who attended HYP 2021 take shows me that they are as determined as ever to ensure that they can help their peers when facing difficulties.

"Young people continue to be keen to give their voice to improving the current mental health situation in Highland and have been proactive in making change since the previous HYP Conference which was held virtually in September.

“It is exciting to see HYP finally being delivered face to face again after what has been such a challenging period for everyone.

“We have a great range of partners, services and young people coming along to deliver workshops, share information and help Highland young people to create an education programme of their own."

Through this week, youngsters can participate in a number of online training sessions, provided by a range of partners such as Scottish Youth Parliament and Education Scotland.

They will cover a range of topics such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, elegant challenging and campaigning online.

All the virtual training sessions will be recorded and available on a google classroom so they can be open to a wider range of young people.


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