In New York today at an event to observe International Youth Day, the Secretary-General drew attention to a new UN publication disclosing that 20 percent of the world’s young people experience a mental health condition each year. The publication, Social Inclusion of Youth with Mental Health Conditions, underlines that the risks are especially great as young people transition from childhood to adulthood. Panellists at the event, which was jointly organised by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) and the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, included H.E. Ambassador Otto, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Palau, ‘mental health superhero’ Alicia Raimundo, youth advocate Jordan Burnham, the author of the publication Dr. Catherine Bradshaw, as well as Assistant Secretary-General of DESA Thomas Gass, and the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi.
As the 400+ attendees were taking their seats, Director of the Division for Social Policy and Development of DESA Daniela Bas welcomed participants, which was followed by a screening of video clips and artwork submitted through the #MentalHealthMatters campaign. After initial words of welcome by ASG Gass, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon delivered his formal remarks about youth and the stigma surrounding mental health issues:
“Stigma and shame often compound the problem, preventing