A FEW articles ago, I announced that I was preparing to raise a motion on mental health and suicide risk awareness at the Scottish Youth Parliament.

Recently, at the 70th SYP sitting held in Dunfermline, Fife, I took to the floor first and presented my motion to my fellow members.

In preparation for presenting my motion, I consulted 200 young people in Scotland. Some of the key findings from my consultation that I shared during my presentation were: 90 per cent of young people agreed that if suicide/mental health training was brought into the school system, that it would benefit them personally.

I also found that 94 per cent agreed it would lower teen suicide rates. After I raised my motion, 99 per cent of the members present voted in favour. This was an amazing result for me, especially as it was my first time speaking publicly in front of such a large amount of people.

I will be taking these results further and meeting with local and national organisations that are relevant to this topic. I will then meet with my local and national representatives to broaden perspective and to gain support.

After that, I intend to meet with the local high schools in West Dunbartonshire to promote making mental health and suicide awareness education available to all young people in the area.

Read more: OPINION Hayley Paku MSYP: High hopes for local young voices

Apart from news on my motion, the SYP sitting hosted an abundance of valuable experience.

As I am a member of two committees - equalities and human rights and the creative communications team (CCT) - I had separate meetings for both.

The equalities and human rights committee hosted a meeting on sibling separation in the care system, and how that affects young people in the long term.

Within CCT, we discussed more action days, and I will be working on creating some digital content for SYP on suicide awareness.

I also attended a See Me Scotland session, which spoke about mental health for young people and how to best support those who may need it. I found this particular session very valuable as it helps put into perspective how mental health stigma is very much prevalent in today’s society.

Locally, I have continued to be involved in the West Dunbartonshire Youth Council, and with support from our Working4U Youth Council support workers we took to the outdoors for a few hours to collect litter in and around Dumbarton Castle.

This linked in with the SYP’s national campaign, “Pack It Up, Pack It In”. We collected a large amount of litter and were quite shocked with the amount of waste.

If you would like to get in contact with me, email hayley.paku.msyp@sypmail.org.uk or follow me on Twitter @HayleyPakuMSYP.