Ahead of the Holyrood elections, taking place next month, we met with each of the main Scottish party leaders and were encouraged that there is widespread, cross-party agreement that more needs to be done in this area. Given the urgency of this issue, we need and expect a concrete commitment from the Scottish government following the election next month.
Most parents intuitively know that children need to feel good about themselves to be happy and to progress in life - the same applies to adults - but practically speaking, how does this work? What do we need to be doing or saying to our children to ensure that they grow up to be happy adults, with a strong 'sense of self' and the ability to take on the world?
The latest figures we have from 2012 show that children are becoming less active, with only 21% of boys and 16% girls meeting current guidelines of at least one hour of moderately intensive physical activity per day. This needs to change, because less active and healthy children generally go on to become less active and healthy adults...
Unfortunately these children are often labelled as 'naughty' and thought that just a 'firm' hand is needed. This couldn't be further from the truth. These children do not know how to play, or how to engage in positive social interactions and this is often where music therapy can play an important role.
We simply don't know enough about the big questions in young people's mental health. Like, what can parent or schools do to help young people in crisis? What are the most effective ways to help? What are the factors causing mental health conditions in young people? And importantly, can we prevent these issues from happening?