European Public Health Week Youths

Road Trip – Mental Health Matters

I am me even when I’m bruised

FACT:  According to the World Health Organisation, one-in-five youths globally may experience a mental health problem each year.

Half of all mental health conditions start by the time we are 14 years of age.  Most of these cases are undetected and untreated.  Adolescence is a very important period in life when we develop and maintain important social and emotional habits important for our mental well-being.  These include doing exercise and keeping physically active, adopting healthy sleeping patterns, developing coping, problem-solving and interpersonal skills and also learning how to manage emotions.

We need to put mental health on the same level as physical health.  The effects caused by mental illness in adolescence are often devastating, as these conditions impact youth at a critical point in their lives.  Young people need to deal with the challenges of adolescence so as to ease their transition into adulthood.

There are multiple factors that can affect the mental health of a youth at any one time.  The more risk factors youths are exposed to, the greater the potential on their mental health.  There are the usual stressors we know about but there are also the ones that we don’t think about – the increased access to and use of technology for example.  Technology is a tool which if used properly can improve our lives by helping us find information and connecting us with others.  Always remember that technology and most important the internet is JUST a tool – always keep an online/offline balance and make sure that you use it for your own benefit and not let it use you!


Let’s look at the positive side of things.  Positive mental health is the way we allow ourselves to feel, think and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and most of all deal with the challenges faced every day.  Strong social support plays an important role in keeping positive.  These include supportive environments present in the family, at school and also in the wider community.


Malta’s Helpline is available on

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EUPHW youth mental health logo

Friday May 17th 2019 is the final day of the European Public Health Week dedicated to Youth Mental Health. The subthemes of this day are Mental health public services; healthy sleep patterns; online and offline balance; social relationships; supportive peers.

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