Raising awareness for World Mental Health Day

  • News
  • 10/10/2016
  • BIK team

Since 1992, World Mental Health Day has been celebrated annually on 10 October. As we constantly switch between offline and online activities in everyday life, we may easily come across situations and content that can impact and leave traces on our mental health, be it in a very aggressive or extremely subtle way. Raising awareness about the importance of protecting our mental health has therefore become essential.

As stated by the World Health Organization (WHO), "World Mental Health Day is observed on 10 October every year, with the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues around the world and mobilizing efforts in support of mental health."
The theme for the 2016 World Mental Health Day covers psychological first aid. WHO explains that this theme encompasses both psychological and social support: "…efforts in support of the day will focus on basic pragmatic psychological support by people who find themselves in a helping role whether they be health staff, teachers, firemen, community workers, or police officers".
Acknowledging the tremendous importance of psychological support and mental health for children and young people, the Insafe network of European Safer Internet Centres (SICs) has been actively developing a series of initiatives to provide help and expertise on this matter. For example, Insafe helplines provide information, advice and assistance to children, youth and parents on how to deal with harmful content, harmful contact (such as grooming) and harmful conduct (such as cyberbullying or sexting) online. Read more about the latest helpline trends here.
Additionally, in the process of exchanging knowledge and experience about the latest online issues and trends, the Insafe network organised a training meeting earlier in 2016 to discuss the impact of technology on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. Attendees heard from experts, from both within and beyond the network, about ground-breaking work that is being done to provide the best possible support for children and young people as well as parents, teachers and other key stakeholders.
Furthermore, the Insafe network coordination team, through its line of work at European Schoolnet, has been actively engaging also in European policy-oriented events, such as the ‘Young people's mental health in Europe: promoting prevention and early intervention through multi-sector cooperation' symposium in April 2016.
On the occasion of World Mental Health Day 2016, the Insafe Network Coordinator will also attend the ‘Mental health and young people in the digital age: addressing risks, seizing opportunities‘ event, organised by Mental Health Europe (MHE) at the European Parliament, in Brussels. Recognising the correlation between risks and opportunities of intense digital activity and young people's mental health, this event offers a great opportunity for the Insafe network to join policy discussions on how to ensure safer internet for children and adolescents at EU level.

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Norwegian resource concerning the youngest children and screen time receives great interest

  • Awareness
  • 30/03/2016
  • Norwegian Safer Internet Centre
The Norwegian Safer Internet Centre (SIC) recently published guidelines and posters containing advice about young children's use of online technology. Health centres for infants, daycare centres and preschools have shown great interest in these guidelines, indicating a great need for knowledge on technology use from an early age.