World Mental Health Day is celebrated on 10 October 2021. This year, the day serves as a reminder that every young person’s mind is valuable. We compiled five recently published news items describing how to effectively support the wellbeing of young people.
At its best, school is a key protective environment for children
School is a source of not only knowledge, but also friendship and security. A listening and caring adult at school can serve as a better explanation for a child’s wellbeing than even the economic and social status of the child’s family. School provides and strengthens experiences that protect children.
Read the full article on how school can support pupil growth (in Finnish only).
Socio-emotional skills protect general upper secondary school pupils from burnout and boost wellbeing
Research has demonstrated the power of socio-emotional skills: the more gritty, curious and resilient, or mentally buoyant, pupils are, the more likely they are to be engaged in their studies. Emotional skills develop particularly during adolescence.
More resilience from a general upper secondary school course
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have designed a course in positive psychology and pedagogy for general upper secondary school, with the aim of supporting students’ personal resources, stress management skills and wellbeing. The Study with Strength course has been organised in ten Finnish general upper secondary schools, and preliminary findings show that it has increased student wellbeing and provided them with tools which they can use to overcome setbacks as well as understand their strengths and be able to use them.
An exceptional longitudinal study provides information on the development of child wellbeing in Europe
The wellbeing of children and adolescents is now more topical than ever. GUIDE, the first birth cohort study encompassing all of Europe, will produce for decision-makers unique and comparable data on the development of children's and adolescents’ wellbeing from birth to the age of 24. This makes it possible to accurately and precisely compare the relevance of environmental and social factors on their wellbeing.
Respecting cooperation and making use of research-based knowledge
The coronavirus pandemic has put the coping of adolescents to the test and led to congested mental health services for young people. Addressing the problem requires open-minded multidisciplinary research and the systematic practical application of research results.
Strength-based education, cooperation in working toward the best interests of children, adolescent-oriented student welfare services and school health services will help to transform Finland into a country where all children and adolescents feel valued as themselves.