Group to examine body image and mental health

11 May 2019, 12:29 | Updated: 11 May 2019, 12:32


A new group being set up by ministers will examine how body image impacts on young people's mental wellbeing.

The Scottish Government's new advisory group will identify steps to improve support and advice.

It will include members from youth, third sector and equalities groups.

The announcement comes ahead of Mental Health Awareness Week - organised by the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) - which this year focuses on body image.

Mental health minister Clare Haughey said: "From our recently published research, we know that body image is a concern for children and young people.

"We are striving for a society where people do not suffer because of concerns about body image, and where they do not feel pressured to live up to a false sense of perfection.

"Monday marks the start of Mental Health Awareness week and this year's theme is body image."

Ms Haughey will visit Girlguiding Scotland on Tuesday to find out how body image issues affect them. She will also announce the remit of the new advisory group.

Denise Spence, chief executive of Girlguiding Scotland, said: "This is a great chance for our members to share how negative body image is impacting the mental health of girls and young women in Scotland, and how the new advisory group will work to help improve support for young people."

New data about the impact of body image on young people's mental health will be published by MHF during Mental Health Awareness Week.

Julie Cameron, head of programmes at MHF Scotland, added: "Our research published this week highlights the huge impact that negative body image can have on the mental health of both adults and young people.

"Our report and survey uncovered evidence that both social media and online advertising are contributing to mental health problems for thousands of people across Scotland.

"Now is the time to address these pressures head-on and we look forward to playing our full part in the new advisory group."