ABOUT THE PROJECT

Rationale

The severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of young people has been well evidenced. Recent research demonstrates that nearly two-thirds of young people in Europe are affected by depression or anxiety, with those from marginalized backgrounds being at higher risk of experiencing mental health issues. 

The worsening of mental health can be attributed to the wide-ranging impacts of educational institution closures, the variable quality of remote education, and the labor market crisis that is disproportionately affecting young people.

The unfolding impact of climate change is also a growing source of stress. The prevalence of symptoms of anxiety and depression among young people remains higher than pre-crisis levels, and compared to other age groups.

Young people’s poor mental health and well-being during the pandemic are also likely to worsen their employment and educational prospects after it. Even though the end of the pandemic may be in sight, its effects on young people’s mental health and well-being will last well beyond it. A substantial Europe-wide response is lacking, with only a small number of responses targeted at youth. Thus, there is an urgent need for increasing access to holistic youth mental health and wellbeing support.

Project Aims

  • To enhance young people’s access to mental health support services and their proactive engagement in improving mental health outcomes.
  • To strengthen and encourage young people in supporting others in navigating their mental health challenges through establishing informal peer support services
  • To equip professionals working with youth with the needed knowledge and skills to create supportive environments for the provision of informal youth mental health services
  • To promote the exchange of good practices in youth mental health support services and foster better and holistic policy responses to young people’s mental health needs
  • To raise awareness of youth mental health and the importance of community response

Target Groups

  • Direct
    – Young people (14-29 years old)
    – Non-medical related professionals working with young people
  • Indirect
    – CSOs working in areas related to young mental health, youth volunteerism and youth civic engagement
    – Local/regional and national authorities working in areas related to youth mental health, youth volunteerism, and youth civic engagement
    – Nonformal education providers
    – Media
    – The general public