International Youth Day 2014: Helping young people after floods

Aug 12, 2014

Summer camps, organized by RK "Bosna", in partnership with the Scout Association of Municipality Zenica

A new publication from the United Nations shows that 20 per cent of the world’s young people experience a mental health condition each year.  The risks are especially great as they transition from childhood to adulthood.  Stigma and shame often compound the problem, preventing them from seeking the support they need.  For this year’s observance of International Youth Day, the United Nations wants to help lift the veil that keeps young people locked in a chamber of isolation and silence.

Too often, owing to neglect and irrational fear, persons with mental health conditions are marginalized not only from having a role in the design and implementation of development policies and programmes but even from basic care.  This leaves them more vulnerable to poverty, violence and social exclusion, and has a negative impact on society as a whole.

Young people who are already considered vulnerable, such as homeless youth, those involved in the juvenile justice system, orphaned youth and those having experienced conflict situations, are often more susceptible to stigma and other barriers, leaving them even more adrift when they are most in need of support.  Let us remember that with understanding and assistance; these young people can flourish, making valuable contributions to our collective future.

So this year the United Nations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as part of "UN Respone to Floods Programme ", organize youth camps in the area affected by the terrible floods. Within the camps the sport activities and training of young people are plan to be organized, in order to help youth to cope with the hardships caused by flooding, and to equip them to provide first aid in emergency situations.

Summer camps, organized by RK "Bosna", in partnership with the Scout Association of Municipality Zenica, will be held at Lake Boračko and gather hundreds of young people aged 14-18 years who come from areas affected by the floods. The aim of camps, with a planned sports activities, is to create support to young people in a vulnerable age during the period when the support it essencial to them. Summer camps could be part of the solution to the problem of the lack of safe place for the development of children and youth in the aftermath of the flood.

Mental health is how we feel; it is our emotions and well-being.  We all need to take care of our mental health, so that we lead satisfying lives. Let us begin to talk about our mental health in the same way we talk about our overall health.

As we mark International Youth Day 2014, let us enable youth with mental health conditions to realize their full potential, and let us show that mental health matters to us all.