In Brussels, between the 3rd and 6th of March, the Mental Health Working Group had its first physical meeting. The Working Group consists of Board Members Sara and Larissa, as well as Olivia, Kolfinna, Tijan, Evelin and Emilie from our Member Organisations, with support from our Secretariat member, Milos.

We started off by brainstorming what mental health meant to us. Going from that brainstorm we explored what is the current situation of mental health between young people in Europe.

An open discussion is needed about the mental health of European school students. Therefore we started to prepare an awareness raising campaign focusing on how the school community can create a supportive environment for students with mental health issues. The campaign will be built on the OBESSU’s welfare research and a survey that was prepared by the Working Group. The survey will be sent to our Member, Candidate and Affiliate Organisations and will map the European situation on mental health of school students. Together with our membership, we will explore what school students can do to make a change!

This summer the Working Group will be present during the European Youth Event (EYE) and the Yo!Fest, 1-2 June 2018 in Strasbourg, France. The group started planning a panel session for the EYE and a workshop for the Yo!Fest, as well as making a timeline for their future work, running until the end of 2018.

All in all, this meeting was fantastic. The group managed to meet all expectations and it is safe to say that everyone gained a new perspective on mental health and learned something new. It was interesting to discuss the various practices of stakeholders in Europe and digging deep into the topic of mental health. We are all very excited for this year and are fully ready to start working on the many things that the Working Group will do this following year!

If you want to know more about the Working Group, please feel free to contact us at mh@obessu.org

Written by Kolfinna Dofradóttir, member of the Mental Health Working Group