Mental Health Europe has marked World Mental Health Day (10 October 2018) by bringing together young people, politicians and experts to discuss young people’s mental health.
Speakers from a diverse range of organisations working with young people – the focus for this year’s World Mental Health Day – came together in the European Parliament to emphasise the importance of prevention and early intervention.
The evening session – Promoting positive mental health for the next generation – was hosted by Julie Ward MEP (S&D, United Kingdom), a member of MHE’s Coalition for Mental Health and Well-being in the European Parliament.
Patricia Reilly from the European Commission (Deputy Head of Cabinet for Education, Culture Youth and Sport) spoke about what the EU is doing to promote young people’s wellbeing, and Natalie Schurmann – founder of Badiliko, an MHE member organisation – outlined how to build resilience in young people from a practitioner’s perspective.
The event finished with a panel discussion chaired by MHE President Jan Bernsden. It featured three young people working in European youth organisations – Zuzana Vaneckova (European Youth Forum), Peter McManus (European Youth Parliament), and Sara Þöll Finnbogadóttir (OBESSU).
Claudia Marinetti, Director of MHE, said:
“Ensuring positive mental health for next generation is an incredibly important issue that we need to get right. Research has found that most mental health difficulties in adults emerged during adolescence, so if we can get things right early on we can really benefit life-long mental health.
“The need to focus on prevention and early intervention has been the message of our event and something we at MHE will be doing further work around. I am delighted that so many interesting speakers, including young people themselves, were able to take part.”
Deputy Head of Cabinet at the European Commission, Patricia Reilly, said:
“Good mental health is vital for individuals’ wellbeing, and for the economic growth and social development of Europe. Across the Commission, we are working hard with Member States, NGOs and other stakeholders to promote good mental health for everyone.
“The EU youth strategy is one way we are supporting young people’s wellbeing, providing empowering opportunities through the European Solidarity Corps and the Erasmus+ programme. We want to help young people connect as a European community and build the meaningful and long-lasting friendships that are essential for wellbeing.”
For more information please contact Robin Murphy on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes for Editors