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National Council Joins the Third World YMCA Youth-Led Solutions Summit(Online) on Mental Health and Wellbeing

    On 10 October 2021, the 30th World Mental Health Day, the World YMCA hosted the third in its series of Youth Led Solutions Summits(Online), on the topic of mental health and wellbeing.  The event brought together more than 150 passionate young people from some 50 countries worldwide, to share their experiences and solutions to tackle the multiple facets of mental health. National General Secretary Dr WU Jianrong, together with four staff, was invited to join the summit, which is aimed to empower the youth, help them achieve personal and world well-being through learning from each other, getting connected and being inspired.

    National Council made full preparations and carried out in-advance study and training, with the view to better understanding social service programs around mental health provided by YMCAs worldwide as well as enhancing friendly exchanges with the international YMCA community. It was a good opportunity for China Y to understand the world, to introduce our programs on mental health and to tell terrific Chinese stories.
    The event featured two opening keynote speeches and an interactive panel discussion. Rosie Thomas, CEO of PROJECT ROCKIT, a youth-driven movement against online bullying, hate and prejudice in Australia, spoke about how to tackle online abuse. Jeffrey Sparr, the Founder of PeaceLove in the US, emphasized on finding creative release in art. The following panel discussion agreed that building and sustaining meaningful conversations was key to finding solutions for mental health challenges.
      Two YMCA wellbeing initiatives were launched to support young people’s mental health --- the Manifesto and the My Wellbeing digital platform, which Summit participants then discussed and further built, in breakout groups.
    China Y participants claimed that they benefited a lot from attending the Summit. In response to social needs, China Y launched our mental health initiative aimed at popularizing the knowledge related to depression prevention in 2020. We hope to build a more inclusive and healthy society by advocating eliminating discrimination against patients suffering depression. In 2021 99 Charity Day, China Y launched online fundraising and mobilized more people to participate in charity activities. Through attending the World YMCA summit, we learned that young people’s mental health was a priority program for YMCAs worldwide, and this strengthened our confidence in empowering young people and promoting their mental health.  
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