Mental Health

"Ultimately, there is no health
without mental health."

First things first...

What is mental health?

Mental health refers to the ability to think, feel and react in a way that is required to live your life in normal conditions.


Strong mental health is the ability to be resilient in stressful conditions. In poor mental health conditions, young people may find themselves overthinking, feeling or reacting becomes difficult, or impossible to cope with.

The World Health Organisation highlights, in their latest report, the urgent need to transform mental health and mental health care.

why it matters!

“Mental health is a lot more than the absence of illness: it is an intrinsic part of our individual and collective health and well-being” (WHO).

Here are some of the major consequences associated with mental health issues:


Depression is the fourth leading cause of illness and disability among people aged 15-19 years on a global scale. Anxiety is said to be the ninth leading cause.


This is the second leading cause for people aged 10-14 and eleventh leading cause for people between 15 – 19 years


They usually appear in childhood and early adolescence. And coexist with depression or anxiety

Suicide &
self harm

Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death among young people. Mental problems play a key role alongside depression and hopelessness which are attributed to 9 out of 10 cases of suicide.




We've done some
digging for you

We want to eliminate inefficiencies when attempts are made to solve social or environmental challenges. To achieve this, we are sharing useful knowledge and disseminating research findings that’s relevant for CYF 2022.

Below, you will discover research insights from the following sources:

Manifesto on Students’ Mental Health

This Manifesto is a product of a study session on mental health organized by the International Youth Health Organization and the European Students Union, supported by European Youth Centre in Budapest by Council of Europe.


There is a Call to Action for (1) governments, (2) university leadership, (3) faculty members/academic staff, (4) healthcare professionals, (5) NGOs and civil society, (6) student unions, and (7) students.

Key insights:

“We demand governments adopt a national
mental health strategy/action plan, through a
consultative process with all relevant
stakeholders – including university students,
and allocate funds necessary for the
implementation of the strategy. In addition,
we encourage governments to do the
constant monitoring and evaluation of the
implementation of the strategy.”

“Governments and respective Ministries to increase the number of mental health professionals working with university students. We invite health insurance companies to consider having psychotherapy sessions covered (reimbursed) for students.”

“Students living with a mental health disorder can be involved as mental health ambassadors, promote the fight against stigma and the importance of students’ mental health through their experience, and present the mental health issues as a normal phenomenon that shouldn’t be stigmatized.”

University leadership needs to ” … conduct research among students and staff and create a concrete action plan based on the results with measurable elements, evaluation periods, criteria, and most importantly, monitoring. In this strategy, some of the key points should cover accessibility, availability, quality, and acceptability.”

UNESCO Insights - Youth as Researchers

Launched at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNESCO’s “Youth As Researchers on COVID-19” is a signature global youth-led research initiative that consolidates evidence from youth across the world on their experiences of, and impactful action during, the global COVID-19 pandemic.


This global study focused on the impact of COVID-19 on youth well-being.

Key insights:

There is a need to “[i]ntegrate community-based interventions that promote services and reduce stigma into government policies and programmes, as a means to increase mental health awareness, address mental health illiteracy and break down cultural barriers.”

Introduce university online motivation and counselling sessions for students, including by
promoting peer-counseling and student engagement related to improving youth mental

Expand access to information from trusted international/government bodies through
improved social media presence promoting mental wellness, exercise and social connection.

Mental Health in Academia

The ReMO COST Action focuses on well-being and mental health within academia, a theme of strategic importance for the European Research Area. The ReMO network, composed of academics, practitioners, policy makers, and consultants for higher education institutions, is an international mix of scientific knowledge and practice on researcher mental health and well-being


Their aims are to (1) establish a global discussion forum about mental well-being, (2) collect evidence pertaining to researcher well-being in an open Evidence Hub, and (3) launch the Researcher Well-being Ambassador Programme.

Key insights:

“Ongoing dialogue between all relevant stakeholders; systematic and structured data collection for evidence-based policy making; dissemination of state-of-the-art evidence and tools addressing mental health; and revising the academic reward system

Recognizing mental health and well-being issues; sharing best practices across institutions; development of fair and personalized research performance assessment; addressing well-being in doctoral and staff professionalization; supporting change initiatives at the organizational level.

Supporting grassroots initiatives; peer-to-peer support actions; a person-centered approach to training and career management; anecdotal evidence collection