Victor Ciunca, a Romanian teenager living in the UK, spoke in the UK Parliament’s House of Commons about the mental health issues of the young and called for a better use of the allotted funds.
Ciunca is an elected member of Youth Parliament (MYP) for Cardiff. His speech was part of the Youth Parliament annual session in the House of Commons Chamber, held on November 9.
Over 250 members of Youth Parliament from across the UK participated in the Commons debate. Among the topics tackled were knife crime, votes at 16, and homelessness. The topics for debate were selected through a ballot of young people from across the UK, with over 1.1 million young people aged 11-18 voting.
Ciunca spoke of how mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety and stress, affect one in 10 young people, and how 15% of these mental illnesses are established by the age of 14.
“Last week, the Government pledged GBP 2 billion to mental health services, including a focus on children and young people’s mental health services. We must ensure this funding is utilized effectively, and that our voices area heard,” Ciunca said.
Ciunca ended his speech by thanking the audience in Romanian, Cymraeg (Welsh) and English.
Ciunca’s parents are Romanians who have emigrated to Wales.
In a Twitter comment, he called the attendance to the November 9 session “perhaps the most important day of my life.”
9 November 2018 was perhaps the most important day of my life. I've learned a lot in this time and all that because of you, the ones you believed in me! Thank you all for your support! @CathaysHigh @CardiffYC @YoungWalesCIW @ChildreninWales @UKYP @ConnorClarkeMYP @sophiejonesyw
— Victor Ciunca (@VictorCiuncaMYP) November 10, 2018
(Photo: Victor Ciunca, seventh from the right, front row, with other delegates; photo source:UK Youth Parliament Facebook Page)