Perrie Mackeever has recently been elected by the youth of South Belfast to be a Member of the UK Youth Parliament. The UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) is a youth organisation in the United Kingdom, consisting of democratically elected members aged between 11 and 18.
Members are elected to represent the views of young people in their area to government and service providers. Over 500,000 young people vote in the elections each year, which are held in at least 90 percent of constituencies. It is currently managed by the British Youth Council
Members meet regularly to hold debates and plan campaigns, at venues including the British Museum, the House of Lords and the House of Commons. Young people hold important positions throughout the organisation's management, and it has been endorsed by the leaders of all three main political parties.
Those elected for UKYP get to hold the much sought after suffix of MYP in their names. They do much great work and are some of the most powerful under 18s in the country.
When put through to the election process each candidate had to put forward a campaign they felt strongly. Perrie’s campaign is to improve the quality and awareness of mental health services in the area, to ensure that no young person is left alone. One third of all illnesses in the UK are mental illnesses, and one person in every six suffers from depression or anxiety. Depression, anxiety, self harm and suicide are often swept under the rug and forgotten about, and we need to start talking about it. Young people are clueless to the symptoms to which they should look for in a person to give them help, and often they are ignorant to what they are suffering themselves. Mental health is rarely spoken about, and so society has taught young people to ignore the signs and it has made them too afraid to speak out. I will campaign to ensure that no young person is alone, and to let them know that there is help available to them.