About the Campaign
What It's About
Get on Board for Youth Mental Health is a call to action to get the issue of youth mental health on the agenda - to get young people asking for it, to get voters voting for it, and to get politicians committing to it.
We launched the campaign during the general election in February 2011. Now we are back in action but this time focusing on the role of President. In the recent election 6 out of the 7 presidential candidates got on board, each making their own commitments to Youth Mental Health (see messages here).
Now we want to work with President-elect Michael D. Higgins to help him bring his commitments to the Áras. In his chat with Get on Board he said that he thinks "it's very important to realise the pressures young people are under". He committed to make youth mental health a part of his proposed first presidential seminar on 'being young in Ireland'.
Why It Matters
We started this campaign because mental health issues affect everyone. 1 in 5 young people in Ireland are experiencing a mental health difficulty today - that probably includes someone you know. That seemed like something we should shout about.
Mental Health is a basic right of every person, and we have a responsibility to ensure our young people have the support they need to protect theirs. It is something which needs to be nurtured and cared for.
What We Can Do
This is a positive message, not about what we haven't done yet, but about what we can do now - like build capacity in our youth organisations, intervene earlier, change attitudes through education, learn more about the issues and what helps, and invest in the next generation and the well-being of our nation.
Most of all we need to support our sons, daughters, and friends - the young people of Ireland today, who are not merely adults in waiting, but a generation that deserve to be happy now.
What we want is to start talking about how to make that happen. Crucially, there are many ways to let young people make their voices heard in that conversation - after all, they know what they need better than anyone.