Mental Health is a Human Right!

Call for proposals: Micro or “rapid response” projects
Priority area: Empowering vulnerable groups
Project duration: 1 October 2023–31 March 2024
Project value: EUR 4,980.82

Judging by the share of suicides, Slovenia was already high above the European and global average before the pandemic. In 2014, suicide was among the three most common causes of death among young people. Like elsewhere in the world, mental health has deteriorated due to the pandemic, increasing inequalities and loneliness – especially among young people. At the start of 2023, the Slovenian government has adopted the decision to designate 2023 as the Slovenian Year of Mental Health. Yet, this is not reflected in the actions of our public healthcare and state authorities! As the public healthcare system crumbles and remains inaccessible to some, we are facing an increasing mental health crisis among both young people and adults. Disconcerting scientific findings on the societal impacts on mental health and the importance of social justice for collective mental health fail to speak to the professional and general publics.

To draw attention to this worrisome state of affairs, we will carry out an intensive 20-hour workshop entitled The Rainbows of Desire in the first half of January 2024. The workshops will take the form of the theater of the oppressed, which will allow young people to explore the societal impacts on mental distress. The main objective of the workshop is to use this technique to produce an advocacy video that would represent young people and their demand for regulating the societal and neglected areas of mental health. Together with them, we will draw up a plan for disseminating the video, which will also be screened at a public roundtable discussion.

Together with young people and the Ljubljana-based Faculty of Education and Faculty of Social Work, we will organize an expert roundtable discussion in March 2024, which will be dubbed Mental Health is a Human Right! At the event, we want to kick-start an interdisciplinary discussion with experts and young people. The discussion will deal with the societal impacts the societal impacts on mental health, the significance of loneliness, the role of communities as a cures, the possibilities of community self-help as well as the mitigation and prevention of mental distress among young people and the general population, which seems to have grown to epidemic proportions. The participants at the roundtable discussion will be encouraged to form a movement that will raise awareness among the professional and general publics about justice as the basis for improving public mental health.

Contact person: Tjaša Kosar

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Project promoter: Cultural and Artistic Association Transformator

Partners: Faculty of Education at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Work at the University of Ljubljana, Critical Psychology Reading Group