October 10 is celebrated worldwide as World Mental Health Day. It was first celebrated on October 10, 1992, promoted by the World Federation of Mental Health and supported by the World Health Organization (WHO). The anniversary is an occasion to raise awareness about mental health problems, to do education on the issue, and to encourage people to talk about it publicly.
Indeed, while it is true that interest and regard for mental health has grown recently, still many people who seek help do not receive adequate support. The Day, therefore, provides an opportunity for all those involved in mental health at various levels to learn more and share experiences, reflecting on how to care for people with mental disorders in concrete, accessible, inclusive and effective ways around the world.
Then again, mental health problems affect so many people: as of today, 1 in 10 people are battling anxiety and depression, while 1 to 2 in 100 people are living with a serious mental illness, such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. Recent years have also seen an increase in mental health problems among the younger population, who find it difficult to talk about it, access dedicated services, and find support in their communities of choice.
The LETs TALK project aims to create and carry out initiatives that promote the mental health of boys and girls. In particular, it intends to support and renew the figure of youth workers, understood as key players in supporting the young population. As part of LETs TALK, for example, research has been conducted to examine the difficulty of accessing mental health services, and training has been launched for youth workers. The goal is to learn more about what problems today’s youth struggle with, how to communicate with them, study the types of relationships they form. But also to help boys and girls become more aware of and better manage their emotions, while at the same time trying to break down gender stereotypes.
Thus, a statement on the website dedicated to the Day is particularly fitting, «[…] stigma and discrimination continue to be a barrier to social inclusion and access to appropriate care; we can all do our part in raising awareness about what preventive mental health interventions are effective, and World Mental Health Day is an opportunity to do so collectively. We envision a world where mental health is valued, promoted and protected; where everyone has an equal opportunity to enjoy mental health and exercise their human rights; and where everyone can access the mental health care they need».
LETsTALK – DEVELOPING GENDER SENSITIVE MENTAL HEALTH PROGRAM FOR YOUNG PEOPLE is a project financed by the program ERASMUS+KA: Cooperation partnerships in youth, and wants to strengthen the capacity of youth workers in supporting young peoples’ mental health with focus on gender sensitive approach to mental health issues.
- Coordinator: FORUM ZA SLOBODU ODGOJA, Croatia
- KENTRO MERIMNAS OIKOGENEIAS KAI PAIDIOU, Greece
- CENTRO PER LO SVILUPPO CREATIVO DANILO DOLCI, Italy
- Centar za omladinski rad, Serbia
Contact Katarina Vuksan: email@example.com.