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Mental Health in Youth Work

Mental Health in Youth Work is a long term project of the National Agencies of Erasmus+ Youth and European Solidarity Corps.
The long-term project highlights youth workers’ role in young people’s wellbeing.

The Mental Health in Youth Work project will allow youth workers and young people get in touch with wellbeing and the promotion of mental health. Over the years, the project will enable youth workers to better understand how they can view mental health as a positive resource in their own and young people’s lives.

The project aims to work on the following three focus areas:

  1. Raising awareness, normalising the concept of mental health, and promoting it as a positive resource
  2. Development of mental health literacy and competences of youth workers
  3. Enabling youth participation and peer-to-peer approach in promotion of mental health
  4. Increasing the number of projects dealing with mental health topics in the European Youth Programmes.

The project coordinator Paavo Pyykkönen tells about the Mental Health in Youth Work project.

    Raising awareness, adopting new practices

    The three focus areas are tackled on a very practical level. The project aims to reach a great number of youth workers through online and offline activities. At the same time, young people are invited to participate in some activities, to get first-hand information and to be motivated to adopt peer-to-peer approaches.

    Awareness-raising activities aim to shift attitudes towards mental health and remove the stigma around it. The project also aims to shift the focus from discussing mental health problems onto promoting mental health and preventing issues.

    Mental health can be supported by practical choices in life. Being aware of the impact of life choices can help us choose the right working methods for ourselves. As youth workers change their attitudes towards wellbeing, they can share the practice with young people.

    Come and join us!

    You can participate in the events of the Mental Health in Youth Work project. From here you can find the upcoming and the past events.
    Tool Fair
    Co. Meath, Ireland | 13–17 November 2023
    Vilnius, Lithuania l 8-11 September
    Mental Health in Youth Work training
    Belgrade, Serbia | 29-30 June 2023
    Study visit Youth Work Works: Mental Health & Wellbeing
    Brussels, Belgium | 5-8 June 2023
    Large Inspirational Event on Mental Health
    Algarve Region, Portugal | 22-25 May 2023
    Training Course, PEER to PEER to make it CLEAR
    Jurmala, Latvia | 17-21 April 2023
    ID Talks on Mental Health
    Online sessions | 15 Feb, 1 March, 15 March, 29 March and 12 April 2023 at 13:00 CET time
    Training Course, Mental Health in Youth Work
    Helsinki, Finland | 12-16 December 2022


    The materials produced during the project are available for all.
    Against dark background bright elements and text ID talks Understanding Mental Health Seires
    ID Talks Magazine
    A graphic recording about ID Talks Mental health explained.
    A graphic recording about ID Talks Climate Change Anxiety.
    A graphic recording about ID Talks Social-media addiction.
    A graphic recording about ID Talks Supporting young people's wellbeing.
    A graphic recording about ID Talks Supporting youth workers wellbeing.

    Partnership between European countries

    Finland, Belgium, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey form the basis of the cooperation. These countries will organise most of the upcoming activities, but the activities will be open to all European countries, and in some cases also the neighbouring areas of EU.

    We will cooperate with other countries and SALTO Resource Centres, so that our message will reach as many youth workers and young people as possible.

    How did we get here?

    All partner countries ran preparatory activities on the national level before the project was started. Every country mapped existing services and material for young people’s mental health in their countries. At the same time relevant expert organisations and youth work organisations gave insight to what kind of needs exist in youth work and within young people.

    We brought representatives of the expert organisations to the Kick-Off Event of the long-term project in June 6th - 10th, 2022 in Kirkkonummi, Finland. We compared the results of different countries and had insight to the topic on European level. The expert organisations guided us to focus on the three areas, that you see above.

    We will consult our participants and the expert organisations so that we know what is needed and what we should provide. We aim to answer to a need on the field and have real impact on youth work.

    Do you want to know more? Contact the following people.

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    Finland: Paavo Pyykkönen

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    Belgium Flamish-speaking Community: Yannick de Scheepmeister

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    Belgium French-speaking Community: Gaëlle Le Breton

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    Belgium German-speaking Community: Margret Zeiner

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    Hungary: Luca Csikós and Ágnes Gönczi

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    Latvia: Jana Priedniece

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    Lithuania: Monika Paulauskaite

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    Luxembourg: Nadine Linden

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    Norway: Gry Nesse

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    Poland: Kalina Strzalba-Krawczyk

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    Portugal: Carla Marques

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    Serbia: Milica Milovanovic

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    Slovenia: Mija Pungeršič

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    Spain: Alicia  Nuñez Palomar

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    Turkey: Ömer Faruk Önol

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    SALTO Inclusion and Diversity: Pieter-Jan De Graeve

    Contact the coordinator

    The project is coordinated by the Finnish National Agency, EDUFI.

    Project coordinator Paavo Pyykkönen