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International Youth Day puts spotlight on mental health issues


This week, to celebrate International Youth Day (IYD), today (12th August), the European Youth Forum is pleased to help put the important issue of mental health under the spotlight. This week we will be promoting various campaigns run by our members on mental health, which is the focus of this year’s IYD and sharing a video message from the UN’s Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth.

The International Youth Day was endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 1999 and takes place every year on 12th August. Each year International Youth Day focuses on a different theme relevant to youth and young people. Past themes have included poverty, youth participation for development, sustainability and decent and productive work.

This year the IYD focuses on Youth and Mental Health. Young people around the world face discrimination and unequal treatment due to their age and position in life. For young people with mental health conditions the likelihood of facing discrimination is even stronger.

Twenty per cent of the world’s 1.2 billion young people experience a mental health condition. However, there continues to be stigma and discrimination around mental health conditions, which can lead to the exclusion of young people with these conditions in Europe and around the world.

The European Youth Forum welcomes the important work done by youth organisations to tackle the stigma around mental health conditions and to promote the social inclusion and wellbeing of young people with such conditions. Youth organisations can provide support to young people with mental health conditions and help to break down the barriers of stigma and discrimination. Some of the European Youth Forum’s member organisations are involved in such work and we will be promoting some of their initiatives this week. Keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter!

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