AN AMBITIOUS teenager from New Cumnock is trying to get young people excited about politics while tackling mental health in the community.

Liam Armstrong, 16, has been elected the MSYP for Carrick, Cumnock, and Doon Valley in East Ayrshire and has big plans for the role.

The Cumnock Academy pupil wants to use his platform to give local young people a voice and get better support for mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

He wants to use social media to get more people engaged in politics and drive positive change for residents.

Liam said: “I have always been into modern studies and I thought this was a good way to expand that interest.

“I like working for charity groups at school and helping others so now being an MSYP I can really make in impact in my community.

“I think politics in the UK right now is very interesting right now which has sparked in interest and is getting more people engaged.

“I used a social media campaign to get into the position and I want to use social media more to get younger people engaged with politics.

“It’s the best way to reach a lot of people since everyone is on their phones and computers all the time now.

“I didn’t used to understand politics but once I started to engage it helped so I want to help my community to that.

“I also want to focus on mental health. In Cumnock and the surrounding areas there has been a lot of mental health problems and we need to do something about it.

“A lot of my friends have mental health issues as well so it affects young people a lot and I want to help by getting rid of the stigma around it. People need to know it is ok not to be ok.”

The Scottish Youth Parliament is the democratically elected voice of Scotland's young people. It provides a national platform for young people to discuss issues important to them and affect the change they wish to see.

Speaking after the 2019 SYP election results, Suki Wan MSYP, Chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament, said: “I’m delighted to announce that thousands of young people made their voices heard by casting their vote in the Scottish Youth Parliament’s 2019 national elections.

“Over the past few months, we’ve witnessed fantastic campaigning taking place all over the country, with passionate debates and hustings inspiring Scotland’s young people to get involved in the democratic process by voting in the Scottish Youth Parliament elections. I’d like to congratulate all of the candidates, and wish the best of luck to the newly elected MSYPs.

“Through our work at the Scottish Youth Parliament, we know that young people want to be involved in political decision making, and want their voices to be heard so that they are at the forefront of shaping society.”