through a share of over £5.9 million of National Lottery funding, awarded to test out new approaches aimed at preventing children, young people and families from reaching crisis point or that stop women from becoming involved in the criminal justice system. The funding from Big Lottery goes to eight initiatives that will bring together Scotland’s voluntary and public sector organisations to redesign and re-organise their services.

Children and young people in Midlothian will be able to help shape the future of local mental health services, thanks to a grant of £836,000 to a multi-agency partnership project led by Midlothian Council. Third Sector Interface partners, Midlothian Voluntary Action and Volunteer Midlothian will play a key part in the project’s delivery in the local community. Over the next five years, the project aims to overhaul child and youth mental health services so children and young people get help much earlier. This will include involving young people in the research, the mapping of mental health and wellbeing support in the local area and identifying trigger points for mental health problems.

The news comes as figures released last week from The Prince’s Trust reveal that ‘61% of young people regularly feel stressed and more than a quarter go as far as to say they regularly feel hopeless’. Many young people feel under pressure to achieve both academically and in the jobs market; increasingly this is having a detrimental effect on the mental health of young people across Scotland, resulting in young people’s happiness and confidence dropping ‘to the lowest levels ever recorded’. It is hoped that this project will help young people in Midlothian who are experiencing mental health issues and also to improve the general mental wellbeing of young people in the local community. You can read the full Big Lottery press release here.