Article 24 of the UNCRC says that healthcare for children and young people should be as good as possible, and also goes further than this by saying children and young people have the right to be both physically and mentally fulfilled.
Among other things, this implies that children and young people:
- should have good enough nourishment from their food
- should be able to live in a safe and healthy environment
- shouldn’t be in danger at work.
Article 24 also says that children and young people have a right to information about their health. They should have a say in how they get this and be able to say what they like and dislike about the information they get.
Article 24 of the UNCRC says that people should know about the health services they have access to. They should get information about physical and mental health, and they should know about the services they can use if they have difficulties with either.
Young people have the right to get information about their health in private, without a parent or guardian’s knowledge. While as a child it might have been in their best interests for a parent or guardian to make decisions about their health, young people should be able to choose which services they need.
The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland gives advice about rights in relation to mental health care and treatment.
NHS Choices – Young People and Mental Health offers advice and information about a variety of mental health problems, as well as links to useful resources.
Breathing Space is a helpline staffed by trained advisors. They will listen and provide support and advice (tel. 0800 83 85 87).
More in the Rights questions and answers section