EYMH Young Activist Milos, from Serbia, shares his experience and opinions speaking at the MEP Alliance for Mental Health, 15th July, 2020
EYMH were asked to provide a speaker to take the floor first at the MEP Alliance for Mental Health meeting, who wer stating that the real second wave of the COVID-19 will relate to mental health problems. Many recent scientific articles refer to this and provide examples of potential mental health issues, such as increased fear of strangers (in some cases reaching the levels of xenophobia) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (e.g. related to cleaning). Therefore, more time, energy and (financial) resources should be invested into mental health.
The mental health of young people is a particular concern. Research carried out in the UK showed that 80% of 2000 youngsters who participated in the survey indicated that their mental health had deteriorated. Feelings of loneliness and isolation were also identified as common.
I shared that Euro Youth Mental Health has developed some resources supporting young people to look after their mental health. The resources are covering three main topics: dealing with anxiety about coronavirus, looking after mental health when physical distancing and when self-isolating. This initiative, based on the inputs of young people – experts by experience and young professionals, has been translated into more than 10 European languages. Resources can be shared with young people, but also with all members of local communities.
In my conclusion, I underlined the need for a holistic EU Mental Health Strategy, involving all the members of society as well as policymakers and addressing current and future mental health needs.