THE NEED TO FOCUS ON YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH
Mental health is something that we all should care about. Sometimes we forget that our life experiences affect and shape our perception of the world and can cause us a lot of mental distress in these times of uncertainty.
The youth's mental health is often overlooked by some, romanticized by others, and we need to start talking about it more seriously. We believe that bringing together people with experience from different perspectives can be a good start, and this is why we decided to organise a conference to exchange ideas, learn from each other and contribute to the change: Youth Mental Health on the Spot.
"If 2020 has taught us one thing, it is that the need for awareness
for mental health is crucial for fostering empathy and creating
mutual understanding, among and for youth."
- Liz, Mental Health Working Group of AEGEE-Europe
We want to give voice to people that suffer from their mental health. We are working hard to have young people with experience on mental health problems so they can share their stories with us. We believe that by listening and trying to understand a little bit better what they have gone through we can increase the awareness of the audience and learn from their experience to detect the early stages of some disorders, and how can we build more inclusive societies with the ones suffering from disorders that are not understood by the general population.
We want youth organizations to care about the mental health of their volunteers and to actively include the ones that suffer from it. We aim to bring different international youth associations so we can see how do they handle the mental health of their members. With this, we aim to share best practices and learn from each other on how to make our spaces more mentally friendly and how to be more inclusive with people with mental ill heal, how can we support them so they can also have the chance to participate!
We want to understand the situation of youth mental health and what can be done to promote and prevent disorders. We are looking for psychologists, psychiatrists, researchers, social workers, mental health nurses and other professionals that could give us insights from their professional perspective, if possible from both the public and private sector, so we can have the opportunity to understand the whole picture of the situation.
We want to see what are the priorities of the European institutions and what can be done from a policy perspective to improve the situation. We aim to have policy makers as well in our conference, maybe Members of the European Parliament, maybe from states, to talk about how changes in policies can be made, as well as associations and professionals that might have suggestions for policy making that can contribute to the debate.
OUR TARGET: THE EUROPEAN YOUTH
YMH on the Spot is designed by European youngsters for the european youth. We want the youth to be more aware of the importance of their own mental health and others', and create a space for learning and expressing our opinions and demands on this topic.
You can check all the news and our speakers on our social media!
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AEGEE is one of Europe’s biggest interdisciplinary student organisations, striving for a democratic, diverse and borderless Europe. As a non-governmental, politically independent, and non-profit organisation AEGEE is open to students and young people from all faculties and disciplines. Founded in 1985 in Paris, today AEGEE has grown to a Network of 13 000 AEGEEans, present in 161 cities in 40 countries all over Europe. Through our activities, we empower students and young people in Europe to take an active role in society. We create a space for dialogue and learning opportunities as well as act as their representative towards decision-makers. AEGEE strengthens mutual understanding among young Europeans and brings Europe closer to young people
Each three years, members of AEGEE choose a total of four thematic topics that they would like to focus on. For 2020-2023, mental health is one of these focus areas.
For 2020-2021, the Mental Health Working Group of AEGEE consists out of a group of young Europeans who work hard to put mental health on the agenda. To do so, they are publishing materials and statements on mental health, organise workshops and training opportunities, and raise awareness for mental health on social media.
And, of course, they are the main organisers behind the conference Youth Mental Health on the Spot!