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News / Mental health focus to RCC Western Balkans Youth Lab conference in Pristina
The Western Balkans Youth Lab project implemented by the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC) gathered youth from across the Western Balkans for a conference on the importance of mental health among young people. The speeches and discussions included elaboration of the challenges and the ways to overcome then in the Western Balkans context.
In her opening remarks, Hillen Francke, Head of Sector at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, DG NEAR, highlighted that the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027 identifies mental health and wellbeing as one of 11 European Youth Goals. She emphasised the importance of supporting comprehensive, safe, inclusive and youth-friendly health services, which include mental health. This is as important for the Western Balkans as it is for the EU.
Young European Ambassadors (YEAs) also participated at the event. Diellza Ibrahimi, a YEA from Kosovo, used her opening speech to mention the importance of mental health in particular in the aftermath of the restrictions caused by the pandemic. She also shared her experience of participation in activities related to mental health, as a YEA and a volunteer.
The three-year EU-funded Western Balkans Youth Lab Project kicked off in January 2020 and aims to provide opportunities for youth to participate in decision-making. The project covers the six economies of the Western Balkans – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia and North Macedonia – in which youth constitutes 21.27% of the population.
Photo credits: RCC
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