How does gender affect mental health?
Seminar on Mental Health Support for Youth and the Importance of a Gender-Sensitive Perspective
Mental health is integral to be able to cope with the everyday stresses of life so that the individual can work productively and contribute to their community. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the concept of mental health, which is influenced by many factors, including gender, especially among young people.
KMOP, in collaboration with the Mediterranean College, organised the national Multiplier Event “Working Together: Youth Mental Health”, part of the European initiative Let’s Talk, in the form of a seminar addressed to young people and youth workers, on Tuesday, 31 of October 2023, at the Mediterranean College Campus.
Distinguished speakers and experts in the field examined how gender-based discrimination affects mental health and well-being, as well as the challenges young people face in modern society.
“Wellness can be described as a sense of calm and balance that concerns both mind and body as interconnected parts,” said Marinetta Kritikou, Psychologist. At the same time, her colleague Ioanna Karachristou spoke about the basic principles of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and the power of automatic thoughts to influence our mental state.
Speaking on the issue of gender stereotypes in the professional field, Marina Natsia, KMOP’s Projects’ Researcher, referred to the intertwined nature of gender and mental health, stressing the need to focus on a gender-sensitive inclusive approach. She also referred to the European “Let’s Talk” project and the need to reinforce professionals to better support the mental health of young people using a gender-focused approach.
Finally, Epaminondas Koutavelis, KMOP’s Project Manager, outlined how peer support among youth can help combat anxiety and depression and increase their well-being.
Overall, more than 100 participants attended the event and had the opportunity to share their thoughts, ask questions and clarifications from the speakers, and access the Let’s Talk project materials. According to their feedback, the event and resources will prove to be very helpful in strengthening the capacity of youth workers to support young people’s mental health with a focus on a gender-sensitive approach to mental health issues.