MSPs are to launch an inquiry into how young people access mental health support north of the Border.

Holyrood’s Pulic Petitions Committee announced the move after receiving a range of evidence in relation to a petition by a bereaved mother of a teenage girl.

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Annette McKenzie’s daughter, Britney Mazzoncini, 16, died after being prescribed medication by her GP, having sought help for anxiety.

The focus of the committee’s inquiry will be to improve the ways young people can seek help and support, particularly for the first time, if they are feeling low or anxious.

Convener Johann Lamont said: “From the evidence we’ve already gathered, it’s clear we need to look at how young people seek help for their mental health and that the right services are available and accessible for those who are feeling anxious or stressed.

“We therefore want to collect as many views as possible and the committee is particularly keen to understand the experiences of young people under the age of 18 who are seeking help for the first time. These vital voices will help to shape our inquiry’s work.

“As well as those under the age of 18, views are being sought from parents and carers of young people, an non-specialist mental health workers who provide services to young people, such as GPs, teachers and social workers, counsellors and relevant professional organisations.”

The committee is interested in exploring the following areas: if young people are feeling low and/or anxious, who would they ask for help and why?; do young people know the different ways they can get help for their low mood and/or anxiety?; if a young person has been referred to specialist services, but rejected from accessing these services, were they directed to other kinds of support?

The committee wants to consider whether the age at which medical treatment can be given to a young person without the consent of a parent or guardian should be raised from 16 to 18. It also wants to hear the experiences of people who have moved from using children’s mental health services to adult services.Anyone wishing to take part in the inquiry is being asked to submit evidence by 5pm on Friday, December 14.