Fixing the Mental Health Act: young people’s advisory team

**UPDATE: we are very pleased that all our places on the
young people’s advisory team have been taken

Read about our project here

What is this project about?

The UK government is looking to improve the Mental Health Act 1983* so that it works much better for children and adults who need care and treatment for their mental health. In July 2022, the government published its Draft Mental Health Bill which contains all the legal changes the government, at that time, planned to make.

The government has asked Article 39 to hold discussions with children and young people who have experience of living in a mental health inpatient unit. We will ask for your opinions, thoughts and ideas about some of the main legal changes in the Draft Mental Health Bill. To do this, we have created the Fixing the Mental Health Act: young people’s advisory team.

*The Mental Health Act 1983 is the main law that governs what can and cannot happen to children and adults when they need care and treatment for their mental health. Changes have been made to the Mental Health Act 1983 since Parliament first agreed it 40 years ago. The next law that changes it is meant to give stronger rights to children and adults receiving care and treatment at home or in hospital. Article 39 is a children’s rights charity, so our focus is trying to get stronger rights protection for children and young people, based on the views and experiences of children and young people.

Who can join?

There are around 10 spaces on the young people’s advisory team. We are looking for team members who:

  • Are aged 25 years or under;
  • Have spent time living in a mental health inpatient unit in England;
  • Care about children and young people’s rights; and
  • Want to try and help make changes to mental health services and the laws and rules they follow.

You do not need to have done anything like this before. We welcome all children and young people who want to share your thoughts and ideas about mental health services, who want to learn new things and who want to be a part of changing things with others.

Whether you are shy and quiet or bubbly and chatty – you are welcome in our team and we will always respect and value you just as you are!

Once we have 10 or so children and young people who want to work with us, we will stop inviting people to tell us they are interested in joining the young people’s advisory team. So, if you think this project might be for you, please get in touch quickly!

What will I do?

As a team, you will be asked to attend three online focus groups. In these focus groups you will be asked for your thoughts and ideas about different topics raised in the Draft Mental Health Bill. We have made an Explainer booklet which holds all the information you need to know about the Draft Mental Health Bill so don’t worry if you do not know much, or anything, about this already.

Your thoughts and ideas will be made into a report which will be passed to the government so that your perspectives can be part of trying to fix the Mental Health Act 1983.

All our discussions and meetings will be held online via Zoom, so you will need access to a computer, Tablet or mobile phone.

There are some other tasks which you will need to do to prepare for the focus groups, and also after the focus groups have taken place. You can find all the details, including task dates and times, in the full project information sheet linked at the top and bottom of this page.

How will my time and expertise be acknowledged?

For every hour spent in focus groups and meetings, team members will receive a £20 gift card as an acknowledgement for your time and expertise. This is our standard rate for anyone (children and adults) who works with us on a short-term basis. Article 39 has a selection of gift cards to choose from which will be sent to your email. You will also receive a certificate when the project is complete. If you are applying for a college or university place, or for a volunteering position or part-time or full-time job, we would also be very happy to provide a reference for you that explains your important work on this project.

For the full project information sheet, click here

Interested? Please fill out the short form here:

*Before you fill out the form, please make sure you have read the full project information sheet here.*

*If you are aged under 13, please ask a trusted adult to complete this form with you.*

Now you just need to hit the SUBMIT button below. We will be in touch with you in the next few days.