Prime Minister Theresa May visited South Powys last week to launch a new youth mental health initiative on A-Level results day.
Mrs May announced that thousands of teenagers will receive support to deal with mental health issues as part of the National Citizen Service.
She talked with students on the NCS programme at Woodlands Outdoor Education Centre in Glasbury-on-Wye before meeting with around 100 local Conservatives at Llangoed Hall.
At Woodlands, the PM revealed government plans for a new course, which will be developed with mental health experts and NCS graduates, and be delivered as part of the organisation’s programme to prepare young people for the challenges of adult life and work.
Mrs May said: “Mental health issues can have a devastating effect on young lives and that’s why making sure young people are fully supported both inside and outside of the classroom is a key priority for me.
“It is not only the pressures of school and exams, though that is in the front of our minds today, but also self-esteem issues, struggles with home life or friendships, and getting into university or finding a job that can all affect mental wellbeing.”
Mental health issues disproportionately affect young people, with over half of mental health problems starting by the age of 14 and 75 per cent by the age of 18.
“We know that early intervention, along with giving young people the confidence to access support, is key – that’s where NCS plays such a vital role,” added Mrs May.
“NCS helps young people forge friendships across social divides and enhance their confidence and self-esteem.
“This excellent enhancement to the NCS programme will build on the work we are already doing in schools and ensure young people get the knowledge and help they need.”
The same day, Mrs May joined local Conservatives at Llangoed Hall where she congratulated the party’s group on Powys County Council (PCC) for having so many new – and young – faces.
One of these is new cabinet member Cllr James Evans, who was pleased to welcome Mrs May on her first visit to the area since becoming Prime Minister last year.
He said: “It was good to meet her again. I met her once when she was Home Secretary – this is the second time she has been in Brecon.
“She was very nice and positive, and she said it was nice to see so many new people and young people getting onto the council.
“She was quite pleased with how well we have done in Powys.”
Getting more youngsters into politics was the hot topic of conversation.
Cllr Evans added: “I am probably the youngest cabinet member in Wales so my big thing is getting more young people into politics.
“She was very supportive and said we do need more young people, and more women.
“With the Prime Minister coming and giving credit to us as a local area it shows how well we are doing.”
See full story in the County Times