The 2021 edition of the Youth Work Week in Estonia focused on mental health and digitalisation

The eleventh annual Youth Work Week in Estonia took place from 22-30 November 2021. This year, the campaign focused on the relationship between young people's mental health and digitalisation.

Date 2021-12-15 Author Estonian Safer Internet Centre Section awareness Topic media literacy/education, potentially harmful content Audience children and young people, media specialist, parents and carers, teachers, educators and professionals
Young girl looking at mobile phone

The aim of the focus topic was to help both young people and youth workers to understand the challenges and opportunities that come with digital environments. Key questions discussed during the week included:

  • Why is it important to take regular breaks from the ever-expanding flux of online information
  • When is the right time to take a break, or how to realise when your mental health is at stake?
  • How is it possible to take a break when everything seems to be online?

The ongoing pandemic has shown that both formal and informal digital solutions have made their way into most young people’s daily routines, from distance learning with virtual classrooms and youth centres, to the use of social media. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the different opportunities and challenges of the digital world, of possible media and information literacy issues and, of course, digital security.

It is equally important to emphasise the challenges related to mental health in relation to the digital world. The Youth Work Week in Estonia focused on the impact of being online on one’s mental health and that of others. The ways in which young people and youth work could create different opportunities were also discussed.

Throughout the Youth Work Week, different activities and discussions took place all around Estonia. On 24 November, the “15-minute airplane mode challenge” started, in which the youth information portal, Teeviit, and the Education and Youth Board challenged people to take care of their mental health by switching their smart devices to airplane mode for 15 minutes each day for seven days. The challenge aims to encourage people to think about how social media affects their mental health and when it is necessary to take a break from it. During the week, participants could also watch and participate in webinars, podcasts and workshops, which have subsequently been made available online.

The Estonian Safer Internet Centre team was a partner of the Youth Work Week, contributing to the publication of a social media guide, the creation of a webinar on digital hygiene, the launch of a test on smart device usage, and more. More information, including resources from the week, is available at

Find out more about the work of the Estonian Safer Internet Centre, including its awareness raising, helpline, hotline and youth participation services – or find similar information for Safer Internet Centres throughout Europe.

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