Abbie Houghton

Hello, my name is Abbie Houghton and I am running as a candidate in the West Area of Wakefield to be your member of Youth Parliament.

I want to be your youth parliament representative because I am passionate about making a positive change for Youth in our area; I want to make our lives better by tackling issues that are important to us such as transport fares and issues around mental health & wellbeing such as exam stress, the impact of terror related attacks, and the effects of bullying.

I want to raise disability awareness, and work to eradicate prejudice and discrimination for our generation.

I want to organise youth projects that challenge the negative stereotypes associated with young people and improve our representation in the community.

I aim to support the creation and continuation of nurture and support groups in schools led by students in addition to staff. As somebody who suffers with anxiety and panic attacks, I know how important areas like these are. According to the UK Mental health foundation, 10% of youth aged from 5-16 have a diagnosed mental health problem, which averages out as 3 people in every class, and 50% of all mental health problems are established before the age of 14. Mainstream schools don’t have enough support provided for people who are struggling with a variety of problems.

I want to improve support for these people and reduce the stigma surrounding these issues. Over 70% of youth in the UK with mental health problems don’t receive sufficient treatment and I want to change that.

I am a trained Samaritans Peer mentor which allows me to support students in drop in sessions to talk about their issues in a safe, judgement-free environment. I recognise that we need to do more to support young people in our area who are struggling and give them the help and support they need to thrive in modern society. If I hadn’t received the support that I got I certainly wouldn’t be the person I am now.

A vote for me would bring support for mental health issues such as anxiety and stress to the forefront and help us to address them. In Wakefield we are one. We are one voice, one force and one community. If we join together, we can make a difference. A vote for me is a vote to enhance our youth community. A vote for me is a vote for a better Wakefield.

Wakefield Council Youth Work Team is a subsidiary of WMDC Children and Young People's Directorate (c) Wakefield Council 2013