• International Youth Day 2014: Mental Health Matters.

Campaign on #MentalHealthMatters launched ahead of International Youth Day

From 12 June until International Youth Day on 12 August, the United Nations is running a campaign, led by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), to draw awareness to the importance of reducing stigma surrounding youth with mental health conditions. The United Nations invites you to submit your artwork, illustrations, photos and/or stories about the positive impact that speaking out about mental health issues has had on your life or the life of a young person you know.

What we want:
-Short stories, poems, or written word (max 150 words) about the positive impact of speaking out about mental health conditions
-Photos, illustrations, artwork depicting the importance of reducing stigma and of raising awareness to the lives of young people with mental health conditions
-Videos (6-15 sec) with message about mental health issues that you want people to know
-Spread the word about our campaign and International Youth Day – share our material via FB, Twitter, Pinterest and more using the hashtags ‪#‎UN4Youth‬ and ‪#‎MentalHealthMatters‬
-Want to do even more? Why not organize an event to celebrate International Youth Day in your community, school, youth club, or workplace. You can get some ideas from our toolkit at http://bit.ly/SO6liC – let us know about it, and we will map it on our activities map and maybe even feature it in the Youth Flash Newsletter.

What you get:
-You will be actively helping in spreading the word about the importance of reducing stigma around youth and mental health conditions.
-Selected written, photo, video and artwork entries will be chosen to be included in our publication ‘Social Inclusion of Youth with Mental Health Conditions’ launched on International Youth Day and in our poster design for our International Youth Day event. Selected written, photo, video and artwork entries will be showcased at our event on 12 August at UN Headquarters, and online, via Pinterest and Facebook throughout our campaign.
-Selected written entries will be interpreted by young artists into a performance piece at the 12 August event at UN Headquarters, which you can watch live on webcast.
-If you organize an event, we will map it on our International Youth Day activities map and maybe even include it in the Youth Flash Newsletter.

International Youth Day will be marked on 12 August with an event at UN Headquarters hosted by UN DESA and the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. The event will gather young people, experts, representatives of Member States and United Nations entities to discuss and raise awareness of the issue of youth and mental health conditions. A panel discussion, together with performances by young artists will be organized so that the issue of youth and mental health conditions can be explored in a variety of interactive and informative ways. The event will be webcast and tweeted: #MentalHealthMatters #UN4Youth. UN DESA will also launch its publication ‘Social Inclusion of youth with mental health conditions,’ which in its updated version will include selected submissions from its International Youth Day campaign, such as artwork, photos and stories. Read more about the event here.

Send your submission to youth@un.org.

To learn more on how to get involved and spread the word on International Youth Day, check out the International Youth Day #MentalHealthMatters toolkit here.

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