From 3rd to 5th December 2022 International Youth Health Organization conducted a Mental Health for Youth Workers Training in snowy Vilnius, Lithuania.
The 3-day intensive capacity building event brought together young people and youth workers from all over Europe for discussions, interactive training activities, and workshops on how to support youth mental health through youth work. The aim of the training was to tackle the issue of integrating mental health care into youth work, how can youth workers support the mental wellbeing of youth and how can peer-to-peer approaches benefit the advancement of youth mental health.
We covered topics such as mental health 101, suicide prevention, psychological first aid, caring for the carer, mental health and social media, mental health stigma and social determinants of mental health.
Moreover, we answered questions such as:
- How to approach and support someone who has just experienced a serious crisis event?
- What do youth workers need to engage and support mental health of youth?
- How to approach peers and youth?
- How to talk about mental health respectively and efficiently and what is the correct terminology?
We discovered there is still so much stigma regarding mental health, even in the youth age group and that everyone has or knows someone who has battled with mental health hardships sometime in their lifetime. The event emphasized the deeper meaning of the phrase “mental health is health” – your body can be in the best shape of your life, but if your mental health is lacking, your cup won’t be full.
The participants left the training empowered and inspired to continue their work on the mental health field in their local communities and most importantly, to take care of their own mental health.