For the last year, Bethan Collier (Year 13 BTEC student) has been working as a rights advocate for Make Our Rights Reality, a national youth rights project movement for young people.
Her campaign focus has been around mental health, and on International Human Rights day, the school supported Bethan with the launch of the national campaign, ‘Our Minds Our Future’, led by young people fighting for improved access to mental health care for 16-25 year-olds.
She called upon the support of her peers to raise awareness of the campaign by holding up meaningful statements and having their photo taken, then posting on social media with the hashtag, #MyRightsMyMind.
Bethan explained why she decided to become a rights advocate: “Mental health services in the UK have been cut to breaking point, and for older children and young adults it is virtually impossible to get the help we need when our mental health is fragile. The campaign aims to get 16-25 year-olds to stand up and have a voice which will speak directly to Westminster and demand change. Our campaign calls on parliament to stop ‘patching up a broken system’ as current spending levels mean that in 2020/2021 only one in three 16-25 year olds will have access to appropriate treatment.”
She added: “I am proud of the School for supporting me; the care and support at the School for mental health is amazing but it should not be limited to those lucky enough to come to Taunton School”.