Drive to Prioritize Youth Mental Health: Advocates Ask Global Leaders

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Globally, 1 in 5 adolescents may experience a mental health problem each year, & the majority of mental health conditions manifest before age 24

News just in, is that “YMentalHealth? Our Future Depends on It,” is holding its second annual event in American Eagle, Union Square, NYC, during the month of September. Its goal is to assemble policy-makers, health experts, youth advocates, and other interested stakeholders, in order to: “call on global leaders to prioritize youth mental health, in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA)”

Global Coalition on Youth Mental Health

This very important event has been masterminded by the Global Coalition on Youth Mental Health, which is seen as a youth-inspired, multinational, inclusive, enterprise. It works to increase the number of  high profile people and companies that can speak out and influence people, so that youth mental health is in the spotlight, sufferers receive the help they need, and the stigma is wiped out. The coalition are tackling worldwide youth mental health by: “engaging with leading mental health organizations, young people who are experiencing mental illness, and the communities that support them, to galvanize awareness, collaboration, and action” .

American Eagle

“At American Eagle we believe we have a responsibility to raise awareness for the importance of youth mental health”

This well known, much loved brand, which specializes in youth apparel, is dedicated to empowering its consumers through its purpose, passion, strength and style. A company spokesman stated that: “We aren’t just passionate about making great clothing, we’re passionate about making real connections with the people who wear them”. It also seems clear that such a cool company is likely to attract people who would otherwise, shy away from discussing mental health.

Pushing For a Comprehensive Youth Mental Health Policy

The iFred founder, Kathryn Goetzke, who is also on the Global Coalition’s Advisory Committee, remarked: “As policy-makers gather for the UN General Assembly, youth advocates are seizing this opportunity to push for a comprehensive policy effort on youth mental health. We are proud to help these advocates raise awareness of the growing toll of mental illness on youth, families, and communities in every country around the world. We need policy action, now – our future depends on it”.

Event Agenda

Policy-makers from various different countries will be in attendance to discuss various aspects of policy, and what can be done to further the agenda. There will also be some interesting youth advocates taking to the stage to talk about their mental health experiences, and the urgent need for this challenge to be at the forefront of the global agenda.

Thrive NYC’s Chief of Policy and Strategy, Gary Belkin, remarked: “Young people are demanding long overdue innovation in how mental health can thrive and how treatment for mental illness can be designed and accessed, questioning conventional wisdom about more traditional approaches” .

The event also encourages people, both in-person and online, to share what youth mental health means to them, through using the #YNow hashtag.