How to recognize a peer in emotional distress?

Call for proposals: Micro or “rapid response” projects
Project duration: 1 Oct 2020–30 Apr 2021
Project budget: 4,978.5 EUR

Adolescence is a period of great change and many teens might feel as though no one understands them during these years. They find it difficult to confide their troubles to anyone, because they think they are "strange" due to these feelings and that something is wrong with them. Even if they pluck up the courage to talk about it, they usually confide in their peers. It is important to be aware that their peers do not have sufficient experience in recognizing and responding to severe mental distress common in this period of drastic change.

Teenagers found themselves in a difficult situation during the new coronavirus pandemic. Because they are not allowed to socialize with their peers to the same extent as before, they have fewer opportunities to confide their mental distress or even suicidal thoughts to anyone. There is a Counseling Center on the website where teenagers write about their distress and their peers help them. During the pandemic, we noticed an increase in mental distress, including the occasional individuals saying they can no longer endure their situation and are contemplating suicide.

In a time when socializing is limited, we find it important to empower young people aged 11 to 15 to be able to recognize when their peers are in distress and to respond appropriately. For this purpose, we will prepare attractive materials for teenagers, which will raise awareness of the above-mentioned issues. We will prepare an interactive test and an article on the Pil magazine website, which will also be published in a shorter form in the Pil magazine. Our main communication method will be a social media campaign raising awareness through attractive videos. The videos will be made in the style of "draw my life" videos that teenagers love to watch on YouTube.

Contact person: Jure Kreft

Project promoter: Fixmedia, Institute for Development of Film Creativity

Project partner: Mladinska knjiga Založba d.d.