Promoting open conversations about mental health among young individuals has gained huge significance, particularly in today’s world. This importance is magnified by the prevalence of social networks, where comparisons and online content overshadow real face-to-face interactions. Recognizing this trend, participants of various ethnic backgrounds, from ‘Youth Peace Camp’ got united in another #RCT activity, to address a crucial matter – the significance of mental health. They passionately decided to raise their voice for its recognition as the central theme for discussions on ‘International Youth Day’, shedding light on its relevance in our lives today.
Political instability in Kosovo greatly affects young people by pressuring them to potentially behave in a way they necessarily don’t feel like. In addition, unreliable media sources uncontrollably deepen the division in which young people easily engage in. And with other societal pressure and coming of age hardships, young people decided to speak up about the stigma around mental health affecting them.
It was inspiring to see young people from different ethnic backgrounds coming together for a cause that unites them. They emphasized how an important issue can be a ‘universal language’ and together, they can contribute to breaking taboos and fostering an environment that empowers all young minds to talk about their feelings without hesitation. The young participants of #RCT emphasized the significant role of reconciliation in healing wounds and promoting understanding among different communities, regardless of the specific concern.
Initiating meaningful dialogues and bringing these concepts to life, our dynamic youth group organized the impactful event ‘Really, How Are You?’ in the streets of Pristina. A trilingual empty book called “You are not alone” was placed in the street and passengers were invited to write down encouraging messages for young people. The aim is to pass on the book in upcoming #RCT activities to other young people and beneficiaries, and later on, use it as an advocating tool for the changes in the society regarding youth mental health. In addition, the team provided resources to young people for seeking help if struggling, but also showcasing the power of joint forces.