International Youth Day
Since the adoption of the resolution 54/120 by the United Nations General Assembly on 17th of December 1999 we celebrate the International Youth Day each 12th of August. The first youth day was celebrated in 2010 and its aim is to draw attention to certain issues that are surrounding the youth.
Every year the International Youth Day has a different theme, this year focused on “Youth and mental health” and the slogan selected for this year was “Mental Health Matters”.
Although we may not realize it, there are a lot of young people suffering from mental health conditions. As a result of their medical state they are often subject of discrimination and stigmatization which may have further negative impact on those young people and their future life – starting with social exclusion ending on the fear of seeking help, being afraid to be judged or “labeled”.
Some mental conditions are not always visible at the first sight and we may not know that someone is suffering from one – that’s why it is extremely important to be aware of their existence and realize that everyone is somewhat prone to them, and that it is no reason to be ashamed or scared.
The aim of IYD2014 was to raise awareness on this topic. Young people were encouraged to speak about those issues in order to overcome the stigma and discrimination. What is important is to create a safe environment for youth suffering from mental conditions to ensure that they are able to have a healthy and happy life, achieving their goals and fulfilling their aspirations – without being isolated, discriminated or excluded not being ashamed to seek all the services and support they need.
The change that has to be made can be made by all of us – we can be part of those efforts as well!
To find out more visit http://www.un.org/en/events/youthday/ and http://undesadspd.org/youth/internationalyouthday/2014.aspx