My NAME is Hayley Paku and I am Clydebank and Milngavie’s representative in the Scottish Youth Parliament.

This month has been full of wonderful events that I have been able to attend – in particular, the SYP’s creative communications team event held in Edinburgh, where we discussed campaign ideas, multimedia concepts and also created a short video clip for the #StopKidsBeingHit Twitter campaign which is based on the Equal Protection Bill soon to be debated in the Scottish Parliament at stage three.

This Bill is a response to the fact that children have fewer legal rights against assault than adults – and even animals - and the debate will address whether there should be a change in legislation in order to give young people more rights.

Read more: OPINION Hayley Paku MSYP: Mental health is priority for our youth

As well as this, the equalities and human rights committee in SYP, which I’m a part of, was asked by the Scottish Government to give insight into how young people feel about female genital mutilation. It is a distressing issue but researching the topic gave me a much stronger insight.

A few articles ago, I announced my proposal on the idea of implementing awareness training on suicide risk and poor mental health in high schools. I am beyond pleased to say that this has been passed, and soon I will present my motion in front of the members of the Scottish Youth Parliament.

How I act on this motion depends on the percentage of those who agree with my statement speech. Currently, I hope to meet with officials, health organisations, local schools and MPs to gauge how to follow through with the steps needed to fully incorporate this important topic into the school system.

The West Dunbartonshire Youth Council is now accepting new members and is hosting its launch later this month, which feels like quite an accomplishment for not only me but for every other initial member.

The next Scottish Youth Parliament is in October and will be held in Fife, which feels so soon but I am definitely ready for the experience again.

If you’re a constituent and would like to get in touch, you can find me on Twitter @ HayleyPakuMSYP or email me at