International Youth Day 2014

This year’s theme is “Youth and Mental Health”

Written by Tricia Purcell


It’s International Youth Day 2014 and this year’s theme is “Mental Health Matters”.

In Ireland, we are familiar with the stigma that is attached with talking about our mental health but hopefully we are starting to see a move away from young people suffering in silence and feeling isolated.

However, a new publication from the United Nations shows that 20% of the world’s young people experience a mental health condition each year.

Secretary general of the UN, Ban Ki Moon said today: “Let us begin to talk about our mental-health in the same way we talk about our overall health.”

The cliché that always gets overused when we talk about mental health, but that still rings true, is the phrase about if you had a broken leg, you’d go to the doctor…so why not go if you have a mental health problem.

With the news of Robin Williams’ death, it again highlights the need to start a conversation about our mental health, how we can mind it and keeping an eye on the people around us.

We must get better at talking when we're low, that’s for sure. But we must also get better at listening to others too. We must actually hear what people are saying to us. We must make ourselves available.

We’ll hardly ever be able to fix their problems but we can be there for them and do what we can. You'll help by just showing you care and support them. Here’s some advice on how to help a friend who has depression.

It can be hard to find the courage to talk to someone, whether it be family, friends or a GP, we've got some tips that can help you get started here.

Find out more about minding your mental health, dealing with depression, suicide and bereavement.

Some SpunOutters have shared their experience of getting through tough times and you can read about them below:

Dairne shares her tips and what works for her

Shane writes about breaking the stigma around mental illness

Vlog: the relationship between alcohol and mental health

Alan says “It's time to talk”

Dave shares his advice for keeping your head healthy

Shane writes about dealing with the bad days

One SpunOutter describes the road to recovery

Being aware of your thoughts can help with things too, get tips for ditching the monkey in our animation series.


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