By Director Nick Morgan
Another year has passed and it has been a very strange, somewhat productive and exciting year for EYMH. Whilst manuvering through the COVID19 pandemic, we have grown from strength to strenght in terms of numbers, events, actions and progressing as an organisation.
As Director, one thing of note in 2020, is loosing Co-director Irina. Irina is still involved in our work as a volunteer, but needed to take a step back to focus on her other priorities, which is the healthy thing to do for ourselves. As an organisation that is run entirely by volunteers, including myself, we take alot of time to discuss how little or much we’re doing for EYMH and balancing this with every thing else in our lives.
Personally, i can be guilty of this and dedicate probably more time than is healthy sometimes to this organisation, which makes my anxierty swing all over the place sometimes. There have been moments, as ever with my own mental health, where i’ve thought ‘why did i do this’ but then i meet with colleagues and see some of the work we do and it brings a tear to my eye. I tend to put ALOT of pressure on myself and carry alot of maybe unnessecary responsibility and weight on my shoulders with international issues, but this year has been different. This year we have, recruited a much bigger group of activist volunteers, who have just been the most amazing and thoughtful team, as well as sending me an amazing video to say thank you at the end of last year.
However, looking at the year gone by and all we have achieved, it has undoubtably should how worth it is. From conversations with MEPs in Brussels, to the first ever European youth mental health event, to the growth or our team, this has been a year to remember.
As ever with this issue, there is still ALOT to be done, both internally and then externally across Europe to continue to move forward our promoting of mental health and prevention on the impact of mental ill-health. In 2021, we are pushing our organisation structure to become a charity, not that we have earnt/made some money, which will lead to us getting more financial support in the future. We are also looking at the idea of our I Feel, You Feel event in 2021 being in person if Covid goes. As well as this, we are starting our ‘Unknown Future of Youth Mental Health’ project, collecting stories from young people across Europe and continueing to do so for 3 years on impact of covid and mental health.
Lastly, i just want to say a HUGE thank you to our team for their amazing efforts over the year and to future excitement in 2021: Anna K, Anna L, Bradley Y, Carmen C, Chryssa B, Emmy N, Inga S, Joana F, Jonny B, Lysiane P, Milos S, Mycah T, Marija L, Maham M, Nives T, Olga NT, Paulina K, Peter P and Tomek K . Just the most amazing group of people and cannot wait to do more together in 2021. Below is a short video of thank you, and a look back at 2020, the list of work we have done.
Look back at 2020
- Publiction in health measures from Science Business.
- Delivered an online webinar, in place of European Youth Event 2020 on mental health during this time.
- Several blogs.
- Meet many amazing organisations and people, from Members of European Parliament, UN Youth Envoy and the World Health Organisation.
- Delivered an online workshop at European Public Health Week 2021.
- Continued work with the TreatMe Project to involve young people as co-resaearchers and co-producers of psychotherapy research.
- Partnered with Missing Children Europe on the Radar project, EYMH’s 1st ever paid piece of work! 🙂
- The creation of ongoing piece of work to support young peoples mental health during and after the COVID19 pandemice #covid19youth
- Facilitated and hosted and online interview for European Health Forum Gastein, with headline topic being ‘Working and living in a new normality’, which involved experts from across the world and MEP Sara Cerdas and EYMH volunteer Activist Emmy.
- Partnered with CORC and WACIT on a brand new project, with funding from the Wellcome Trusts mental health priority area on Active Ingredients, which finish end of January 2021. This project was worldwide, involving young people from 8 different countries.
- Met and inducted 9 new Volunteer Activist
- Introduction of Selfcare Sundays, where we share ideas of how we and you can look after our mental health.
- First ever All Volunteer Activist meeting, now a regular thing.
- First ever formal Induction for Volunteer Activists
- Increased Twitter numbers – see twitter report here
- Social media has increased – self care sundays
- We prepared and delivered the FIRST EVER YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH EVENT ACROSS EUROPE – I feel, You feel, now to be an annual event – Event report can be found here.
- Held several fun and engaging social events for our Volunteer Activists.
There wasn’t a #mentalreport on 2019 last year, so below are just some of the work we were involved in.
- Nick, Milos and Carmen finally met and attended the 1st Members of European Parliament Mental Health Interest group in Brussels.
- Ongoing legal battle with Companies House in the UK – completed and sorted.
- Delivered our Council of Europe Education programme Study Week – Mind the Gap
- Ongoing membership of Inclusive Mobility Alliance – Initially being led by European Student Network, we, as a group were sadly unsuccessful in getting funding through Erasmus+ for ongoing work. The project and network still exists and EYMH Activist member Carmen has taken on this project as she lives in Brussels and the project can currently no longer afford to pay for travel and accommodation. See more about this project HERE. https://mapped.eu/inclusive-mobility-alliance