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LETsTALK: developing gender sensitive mental health program for young people

The project aims to strengthen the capacity of youth workers in supporting young peoples’ mental health with a focus on gender-sensitive approach to mental health issues.

Grant Agreement Number: KA220-YOU-0B56936D

Funded by: Erasmus+        Duration: 1/11/2021 – 1/11/2023


According to UN’s Policy Brief: COVID-19 and the Need for Action on Mental Health (2020), approximately 70% of mental health services for children and adolescents are disrupted. The impacts of disrupted services are compounded by young people missing out on peer support and some of the biggest moments of their lives due to school closures, cancelled events or postponed exams. Emotional difficulties are also increased by family stress, social isolation, with some facing increased abuse, disrupted education and uncertainty about their futures, occurring at critical points in their emotional development.

All this points to the alarming need to support all those working with young people to gain basic knowledge on mental health of young people, particularly to provide support to recognize when to provide support, call on for the expert support and support of families and other structures in communities. According to the feedback from practice (youth workers) and academic and clinical experts, the gender difference is of particular interest as they described different self-destructive and destructive behaviour among girls and boys and difficulty to be of adequate support. All these issues are much more visible in the pandemic crisis. Another important conclusion from the policy reports in most EU countries is that mental health services are mainly targeted at children and/or grown-ups, while rarely are they tailored to the specific needs of adolescents and young people.


The objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity of youth workers in supporting young peoples’ mental health with focus on gender sensitive approach to mental health issues. The project primarily develops personal and social competences of youth workers to better understand and support children and youth’s mental health with special sensitivity for gender differences, as they seem to be a crucial factor in tailoring the mental health interventions for young people.


A document will be developed based on the policy analyses and field research in 4 partner countries, aimed at the decision and policy makers, but also the managers and experts in the field of youth mental health and youth work. It will inform the key persons and youth experts on the importance of gender sensitive approach to youth mental health, explain the difference we see in young women and men facing mental health issues and help them tailor and implement efficient policies and strategies to address the issues and provide the needed support systems.

A program curriculum and related publications for youth workers and young people will be developed. The program will consist of: (a)Training curriculum with the description of the program, list of learning outcomes, list of references, duration and type of the certificate; (b) Handbook for youth workers and (c) Workbook for young people consisting of different self-reflective, informative and interactive handouts for young people. Through the developed Gender sensitive youth mental health program with toolkit resources all youth workers, youth experts and youth in the EU will have the most relevant and up to date program that corresponds to the detected needs of all involved target groups.

An innovative interactive Digital platform will be designed. This platform aims to tackle gender-sensitive mental health issues while applying an inclusive approach to all young people. The website platform will contain:

  • RESEARCH AND POLICY SECTION: a compilation of up-to-date reports on the impact of COVID-19 on mental health of young people together with the identified good practices on policy and service level, and gender issues
  • TRAINING COURSES SECTION: a program designed during the testing phase with the collaboration of all youth workers and hub youth group
  • RESOURCES AND MATERIALS SECTION: digital materials, pedagogical resources, tools and instruments that partners and youth workers will develop and design during the project
  • INTERACTIVE OPEN SPACE AND COACHING SECTION: this section will contain the Blog, forum discussions, material upload and audio podcast.
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European Commission’s support for the production of this content does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Project Partners

KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre
Forum for Freedom in Education (Croatia)
CSC Danilo Dolci (Italy)
CZOR (Serbia)

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