Today is International Youth Day, declared so by the UN in 1999 and endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly after a recommendation by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth.
The theme for International Youth Day 2014 is ‘Youth and Mental Health’. A lot of stigma is attached to people with mental health conditions, even more so if the person is still in their youth. These youths often experience stigma and discrimination, which exacerbates the condition they suffer from. They will most of the time refrain from seeking help for their conditions and will instead turn to drugs / alcohol to ‘cope with life’.
All people with mental health conditions must be encouraged to seek help and to speak out about their conditions without fearing stigma and discrimination.
A message from Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations said in a message to youth, ‘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’.
If you know of someone, or you yourself needs, who needs assistance with a mental health condition click here to see mental health practitioners on Junk Mail or contact the SA Federation for Mental Assistance in your area.