It is an universal truth that half the world’s population is under 30, making today’s youth generation the largest in history. August 12 every year is marked as International Youth Day. This year’s theme is “Youth and Mental Health.”
According to the World Health Organization, most mental health problems & disorders start during adolescence and continue into adulthood with severe emotional and social consequences for individuals and families if they are not treated. Youth with mental health conditions can experience stigma and discrimination, which can lead to isolation and away from seeking professional help. Suicide rates among young people have been increasing to such an extent that they are now the group at highest risk in a third of both developed and developing countries.
On the occasion of International Youth Day, Sunaulo Parivar Nepal (SPN) implementing partner of Marie Stopes International (MSI) with its Youth POP up team set up Rockets & Space station in Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Biratnagar, Birjung and Pokhara. Talking about Rockets & Space, it symbolizes penis and vagina; Male and Female Reproductive Organs. The concept behind Rockets & Space is to make Sexual and Reproductive Health approach among young people interesting. As we all are aware that still today people do not take SRHR of young people seriously and it has always been stigmatized.
Youth POP up team set up Rockets & Space stations in different districts which launched QUIZ program and distributed free condoms, promotional stickers, helpline cards and wrist bands. In Kathmandu SPN co-organized Mega Event with Association of Youth Organizations Nepal (AYON). The event was more interesting and the venue was full of young people as there was freelance speaker Ms. Swastika Shrestha who spoke on Love & Relationship. Also there was performance by Nepal young artist “YAMA BUDDHA” who performed his Rap songs on young peoples SRHR.
For detailed information on Rockets & Space please like the Facebook Page.
On same day, Bhaktapur Youth Information Forum (BYIF) organized Flash Mob Which also talked about Youth & Mental Health which really matters. Whole event relate Youth, mental health and SRHR as interlinked phenomena. Young people’s ignorance about their SRHR and related issues have led them to depression resulting suicide. One of the member of BYIF shared, “I am a nurse and recently I have been working in Mental Hospital, Patan. I am appointed as supervising a young boy of 18 years who is victim of depression. He has attempt suicide for third time. The reason behind, he is facing the normal problem of pimples that every young face in their puberty. He said he wanted to look like other attractive boys but due to his pimples he feels inferior and does not want to face other young people nearby or in his college.” By this example we need to learn that SRHR, Youth and Mental health are interlinked and all that matters. I hope Government of Nepal in near future will take strong action realizing “Youth, Mental health and SRHR: Matter”.