Posted: Mon 22nd Aug 2022

Concerns raised over issues accessing mental health support for young people in Wales

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Aug 22nd, 2022

Two Members of the Welsh Youth Parliament have spoken about the inconsistencies and problems with mental health services and are encouraging young people in Wales to respond to their new consultation.

Keira Bailey-Hughes and Georgia Miggins have been sharing their experiences with the failures of accessing mental health support.

Keira from Gwynedd and Georgia from Swansea opened up about their concerns to encourage young people to speak out about the issues they’re facing.

They’re also urging young people across Wales to contribute to the Welsh Youth Parliament’s Mental Health Survey and how issues can be supported and even prevented in the future.

The survey is asking young people about mental health provision across the country with the consultation running until the Autumn.

These findings will then be used by Youth Parliament Members to campaign for changes and improvements to mental health support in Wales.

Keira Bailey-Hughes claims that the mental health service they received was so inconsistent due to intense anxiety that their school attendance dropped significantly.

Keira said: “Having been unsuccessful at getting any counselling, I started mindfulness sessions which did not help.

“Once lockdown began it took a year to get a new referral and I was dropped to the bottom of the queue.

“If it wasn’t for the fantastic counsellor at my school, I still feel I would be circling the system. Sadly, that support only extended until I finished the end of year 11 and I’m back in the same position.”

“Even with the counsellor at school though, because my attendance had fallen so low, accessing the support wasn’t easy and sometimes the thought of going into school would be the catalyst for my anxiety and depression.”

Georgia Miggins, age 18, says that, because of her autism, her anxiety is still undiagnosed due to staff not treating the issues as separate entities.

She claims that because of how her autism manifests, medical professionals did not diagnose her anxiety; sometimes citing reasons such as that her appearance was well kept.

“I felt like I wasn’t taken seriously and that my autism was being used as a barrier to me getting treated for my mental health,” said Georgia.

“I felt like I was going around and around the system for years before even being diagnosed.

“At one point I was even told that because I was well maintained, well-spoken and not visibly in distress that there wasn’t anything they could do to help me.

“My experience shows that there needs to be much better mental health services for people with both mental health issues and people with disabilities.”

The surveys can be completed here: youthparliament.senedd.wales

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