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International Youth Day, 12 August 2014


Background: Youth and Mental Health
The theme of International Youth Day 2014 is “Youth and Mental Health” under the slogan ‘Mental Health Matters’. 
Youth with mental health conditions can often experience stigma and discrimination, which in turn can lead to exclusion and/or discourage people from seeking help for fear of being negatively ‘labelled’. Efforts are needed to overcome this stigma to ensure that young people with mental health conditions can lead full and healthy lives free of isolation and unnecessary shame, and that they openly seek the services and support they need. You can be part of these efforts!

UN DESA, through the Focal Point on Youth, and the Inter-Agency Network on Youth Development, promotes a multi-dimensional approach to addressing the challenges faced by young people with mental health issues, including tackling stigma and promoting social inclusion to enable all young people to achieve their aspirations and goals. 

International Youth Day 12 August 2014: Mental Health Matters

Taking place in the ECOSOC Chamber, UNHQ, from 10am-1pm on 12 August, the IYD event is being co-organized by UN DESA’s Division for Social Policy and Development and the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth. It will bring together young people, youth organizations, Member State representatives, civil society, and UN entities to discuss the issue of youth and mental-health in particular looking at issues such as the impact of stigma, discrimination and exclusion, on the local, country, and international levels.


Following opening remarks by the Secretary-General and high-level representatives, performances by young artists will be held in an effort to explore a variety of interactive and informative ways to draw awareness to the issue. In addition panelists, including Jordan Burnham and Alicia Raimundo, will talk about their own experiences with mental health conditions and the impact that speaking out and seeking support has had on their lives.


The event will officially launch the UN DESA publication Mental Health Matters: the Social Inclusion of youth with mental health conditions.


If you do not hold a UN grounds pass and wish to join the event, please RSVP here.  

Mental Health Matters Campaign 12 June - 12 August 2014
From 12 June until International Youth Day on 12 August, the United Nations is running a campaign to draw awareness to the importance of reducing stigma surrounding youth with mental health conditions. We need you to help raise awareness and reduce the shame. Join us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to help raise awareness! Use hashtags #MentalHealthMatters and #UN4Youth.


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 IYD event. Selected written, photo, video and artwork entries will be showcased at our event on 12 August in UN Headquarters, and online, via Pinterest and Facebook throughout our campaign. 

To ensure that you are an author of the artwork and to let us showcase and publish your submissions, please, fill out Copyright Release Form and send it to us with your submission materials.

IYD Copyright Release Form

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 (link below) – let us know about it, and we’ll map it on our activities map and maybe even feature it in our Youth Flash Newsletter.