2nd Pre-consultation youth workshop on Mental Health

We BREATH normally! Let’s talk about adolescence, disability, and mental health

On September 29, 2022, we held the 2nd pre-consultation youth workshop in the framework of the CAMHI’s Youth Engagement Scheme. We invited 8 adolescents and young people residing at the Rehabilitation Center for Children with disabilities in Voula (PIKPA Voulas) and 4 adolescents from various schools of Athens and met at the National Library of Greece at the SNFCC to discuss disability and mental health as an adolescent.

The workshop was coordinated by Mr. George Moschos, former Ombudsman for Children’s Rights and Coordinator of the Youth Engagement Scheme of the Initiative, with the support of the volunteer group PROTA.12 and the volunteer group TANDEM.

Captura de tela de 2022-10-06 12-58-46

Participants had the opportunity to share their perspective on how disability intersects with mental health, and the challenges but also good practices they have come across in their everyday life. Some of the takeaways from the discussion are included below:

  • Seeing a psychologist is not shameful
  • Our society excludes people with disabilities; schools should be mixed for all children (no ‘special’ schools)
  • Disability is not something that defines us as people – it is imposed on us by society’s restrictions and views
  • Public schools should all have psychologists
  • Access needs to expand; not everyone can afford a therapist
  • No more institutions- living in the community is our right
  • Independent living and respect of privacy for people with disability
  • Love, dignity, solidarity, and respect
  • Familiarization with disability and open minds

All the thoughts that the group shared will feed into the CAMHI’s strategy and overall goals with a focus on inclusivity and respecting diversity when approaching issues of mental health for children and adolescents.

A big thank you to the 12 young people who devoted their time and energy into this discussion and to the 12 volunteers who supported the activity!