The event in Biel and online was an opportunity to learn about Mental Health through the presentations of two experts, Q&As, and discussions.

The “We Care!” peace project was put into place at the Peace Designer Education in February 2019 and has now developed greatly after a year and a half! The project was launched with activities such as surveys on the street and “Big Questions!” activities, with the idea to show care to one another, and to allow people to share about what matters most to them in life. Nonetheless, in 2020, the project has evolved in a different direction: we have realized how much young people in our environment suffer from mental health issues. Nevertheless, they often do not realize what condition they are in mentally, do not know how to overcome it nor where to seek help. We have therefore organized an event on this important topic that took place on October 24th, 2020. IAYSP-Switzerland had the chance to receive two special experts on the topic: Monique Bolognini, a representative from the organization “Die Dargebotenen Hand/La Main Tendue” (Helpline 143), as well as Marina Chételat, a psychologist working currently in a psychotherapy clinic. Due to the measures related to Covid-19 taken by our Federal Council, our event was limited to 15 people in the room. Nevertheless, 27 other participants, mainly young people, joined us online through Zoom. The event started with enriching presentations on mental health, followed by a Q&A session and a discussion time in small groups that were focusing on several “deep questions” on the topic.

The main purpose of this event was to understand more about common mental issues such as depression and anxiety crisis, and to learn more about how to achieve a healthy state, as well as help those in need. Furthermore, our goal was to break the existing taboo on the topic to create a space where young people especially, can feel free to share about their mental struggles. This event was also an opportunity for the participants to show that they care about each other’s mental condition.

We would like to thank the IAYSP-Switzerland Committee for its great work and investment, as well as Monique Bolognini and Marina Chételat for sharing their expertise and professional experiences with the participants. IAYSP-Switzerland also would like to show its gratitude towards the Multimondo Language School who has lent us a spacious room for the event, as well as UPF Switzerland for the financial their support, whom we have paid back by allowing them to present the Centenary Anniversary Exhibition of Sun Myung Moon, the founder of UPF, at the end of the event. The event on Mental Health was a success and we will do our best to develop it further, in different domains such as spiritual health, and to show great results by showing care to one another and breaking the taboos on this topic.

Mélanie Komagata and the IAYSP-Switzerland Committee

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