Young people say their mental health is not prioritized by adults
Young people believe that their mental health problems are not taken seriously by adults. Adults underestimate and don’t prioritize young people’s mental health, young people wrote in the Unicef youth advice 2022. They’ll present it to parliamentarians on Friday, Youth Budget Day.
In addition to more attention to their mental well-being, young people ask politicians to prioritize education and youth participation. They give concrete recommendations for doing so.
For example, appoint someone in schools who young people can trust and knows how to support the target group. Politicians and policymakers should also drop their pigeonholed thinking about higher and primary education. And they must place less emphasis on achievements and student numbers. Education must also focus more on the individual student and their development.
The young people call on the government to communicate better with young people and to involve them in politics. “Take us seriously. Really listen to us and give us opportunities. Then we feel better heard and understood,” they said in the letter. “We are full of good ideas and understand our generation like no other.”
The report, written by 847 teenagers between 13 and 18 years old, will be handed to State Secretary Maarten van Ooijen of Public Health, Welfare, and Sports on Friday.