Press Release

WHO: Let's speak up for mental health

20 May 2022

  • News from WHO Albania

One in six people globally are aged 10-19 years. Adolescence is a unique and formative time. Physical, emotional and social changes, including exposure to poverty, abuse, or violence, can make adolescents vulnerable to mental health problems. Protecting adolescents from adversity, promoting socio-emotional learning and psychological well-being, and ensuring access to mental health care are critical for their health and well-being during adolescence and adulthood.

Globally, it is estimated that 1 in 7 (14%) 10–19-year-olds experience mental health conditions, yet these remain largely unrecognized and untreated. Adolescents with mental health conditions are particularly vulnerable to social exclusion, discrimination, stigma (affecting readiness to seek help), educational difficulties, risk-taking behaviours, physical ill-health and human rights violations.

The European Mental Health Week on the 9-13th of May is an initiative that aims to raise awareness about the importance of mental health in our everyday lives. In most European countries, mental health problems among young people have increased in the last two years as a consequence of the pandemic. Immediate action at the European and national levels is crucial to address the mental health needs of young people.

Caption: Dr. Neli Demi, WHO mental health expert in an event organized by the foundation Together Albania where students from Tirana University
Photo: © WHO Albania

In light of European Mental Health week, Dr. Neli Demi, WHO mental health expert, partook in an event organized by the foundation Together Albania where students from Tirana University got the opportunity to listen and ask questions to experts within the field. During his speech, Dr. Demi highlighted that mental health is a priority for the WHO European region.

During the past two years, WHO has supported the Albanian Ministry of Health and Social Protection with capacity-building activities to strengthen mental health support during emergencies. In addition, the WHO is currently supporting a youth-led awareness-raising campaign together with UNYD and UNICEF, coordinated by the UN Resident Coordinator Office in Albania.

UN entities involved in this initiative

United Nations Children’s Fund
World Health Organization

Goals we are supporting through this initiative