Seminar at European Youth Centre in Budapest: Impact of War on the Mental Health of Youth
Sofía Medina Sánchez
International Justice and Human Rights Researcher
Global Human Rights Defence
From the 12th to 15th of November at the European Youth Centre in Budapest, a seminar on the role of youth work in supporting the mental health of young people impacted by war will take place. Professionals in youth services and experts collaborating with young Ukrainians, including those who are internally displaced or refugees, will exchange insights and explore the significance of youth work in confronting the emotional and mental health difficulties encountered by young individuals due to the armed aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine. The event, jointly coordinated by the Council of Europe and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, will put forth recommendations for various stakeholders on implementing youth work for young people impacted by traumatic events associated with war, military conflicts, and related crimes.
Based on a February 2023 survey involving young Ukrainian respondents compelled to evacuate their residences due to Russia's war on Ukraine, 73% indicated a demand for increased mental support post-February 24, 2022. Surprisingly, only 29.8% of participants actively sought psychological assistance.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine underscored the prevalent mental health challenges among young individuals as a key focus for collaboration with the Council of Europe in 2023 and 2024. This emphasis is evident in the Framework Programme for cooperation on youth policy between the Council of Europe and Ukraine, which serves as the backdrop for the seminar in Budapest.
Recognising that traumas predominantly manifest during infancy and youth, it is imperative to address the psychological repercussions of war proactively to prevent lasting harm. This imperative extends beyond the Ukrainian context, encompassing a global perspective where children and teenagers endure the ramifications of armed conflicts.
Sources and further reading:
Council of Europe, Newsroom, Mental well-being of young people affected by war: Seminar at European Youth Centre in Budapest, 13 November 2023: https://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/-/mental-well-being-of-young-people%C2%A0affected-by-war-seminar-at-european-youth-centre-in-budapest
Council of Europe, Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, SEMINAR: The role of youth work in supporting mental well-being of young people affected by war 13-15 November 2023-- Draft Note DDP -YD/ETD (2023) 218, Strasbourg, 22 September 2023: https://rm.coe.int/2023-concept-seminar-mental-health/1680ad3810
Council of Europe, Ministry of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, SEMINAR: The role of youth work in supporting mental well-being of young people affected by war 13-15 November 2023-- Draft Programme DDP-YD/ETD (2023) 255rev, Strasbourg, 19 October 2023: https://rm.coe.int/2023-draft-programme-seminar-mental-health/1680ad3812