The first kick off meeting of the Hold On project took place this summer. This kick off officially launched the project. Thanks to all partners’ participation, the consortium had the opportunity to present each organisation and each project manager.
The main topics addressed during this meeting were:
- Presentation of all partners on the project
Who are we? The consortium is composed of 6 partners from the European continent. The countries represented are: Greece, Albania, Cyprus, North Macedonia, France, and Poland.
The expertise of the organizations varies and complements each other: We have several NGOs that work towards helping vulnerable societal groups from youth to elderly people. The fields of work represented include health, human rights, civil society and democracy, social inclusion, education, arts and culture, but also social protection, youth, children’s rights and the fight against all types of discrimination. The partners also include a Centre for education, ICT training, research and development with its 4 Main departments being: Strategic Research; Research; Education and ICT training; and Software development. In addition to this is a municipality that provides information, counseling, child protection, a parenting class, youth groups, services for children and families, referral and case management, as well as a youth centre that provides formal and informal education. Finally, a private university completes the consortium with its 25 different departments.
The variety of the public/private entities and their fields of action are a great force for our project.
- Presentation of the project’s objectives
Hold On is a project that aims to respond to the difficulties young people and their carers face on mental health, as the Covid19 pandemic enhanced the challenges that were already present. Thanks to the Hold On project’s upcoming primary outcomes, we will be able to help youth facing mental health problems, promoting peer support and civic engagement and providing training for professionals working with youth to enhance actions towards these goals.
- Global presentation of the timeline and administrative management
This part allowed all partners to find common dates for online monthly meetings, more extensive partners meetings and an in-person international conference that is scheduled in Greece for the fall of 2024.
The launch of Work Package 2: Youth Capacity building
The leader of this work package is KMOP (Greece). The main activities are: the development of an e-learning course and its piloting, the preparation of mentoring sessions, and finally, an international conference.
To develop the first activity, the leader of the work package provided a needs assessment questionnaire for all partners to survey young people to assess their needs regarding mental health issues and peer support. This questionnaire will lead to an assessment report that will help develop the e-learning course and match the real needs of young people.
During the following weeks after the kick off, Afeji (France) took the opportunity to present the Hold On project to the Teenagers’ House (Maison des adolescents – Afeji) in the city of Valenciennes. The project managers met with 3 professionals: The director of the Teenager’s House, a psychologist, and a nurse who all work daily with our target groups. The topic of mental health, as well as the urgency of the situation, was not something new to the professionals. In fact, they were enthusiastic to be involved with the Hold On project and they will help disseminate the needs assessment questionnaire to the young people they encounter. Meet Katy, Fanny and Estelle (with Sabrina and Coline, Afeji’s project managers). Welcome on board!
From left to right: Katy (nurse), Fanny (psychologist), Sabrina and Coline (project coordinators), Estelle (Director of the Teenagers’ House).