Young people live in an increasingly complex global, economic, social and cultural climate, characterised by increases in youth unemployment, migration and rising levels of mental health problems and youth suicide.
Young people across Europe have identified achieving better mental health and wellbeing as one of the main issues concerning youth today (www.youthgoals.eu). They are concerned about the high levels of mental health issues among their peers, and the immense societal pressures and competitiveness they face in their daily lives. Furthermore, accessing mental health support can be challenging for young people due to the stigma commonly associated with mental health issues.
Adolescence and young adulthood are crucial periods for laying the foundations for healthy development and well-being. Promoting positive mental health and the acquisition of important social and emotional life skills in adolescence reduces the risk factors for mental disorders, enhances protective factors for good mental health and lead to lasting positive effects on a range of educational, social and economic outcomes.
The youth sector setting is an important one for promoting positive young people’s mental health and social and emotional wellbeing by providing a supportive environment for building positive relationships with adults and peers and practicing social and emotional competencies. Although many innovative practices are currently applied in youth settings, there is a lack of a systematic approach for promoting young people’s mental health and wellbeing in the European youth sector.
This Erasmus+ funded Strategic Partnership offers an evidence based theoretical framework and practical guidelines for youth workers and their organisations to effectively promote the mental health and wellbeing of their youth.