The Honiara Youth Forum on Youth and Mental Health led by HYC at multipurpose hall on Wednesday last week to discussed mental health issues have ended successfully in coming up with a youth voice statement for mental Health Matters in Honiara.
About thirty young people attended the Youth Forum and as a result, young people have come up with a statement to call for partnership with Ministries and stakeholders to look at mental health as one pressing issue for Young people in Honiara.
The Honiara Youth Council (HYC) also issued a statement hoping to develop the country’s first national mental health policy for Youths.
This Youth Forum was part of the International Youth Day commemoration called the Honiara Youth Voice event and it was organized by Honiara City Council-Youth Division and Honiara Youth Council (HYC).
The lead Facilitator was Honiara Youth Council (HYC) with a support from Youth Division of Honiara City Council (HCC) and twenty volunteers of Youth Division Honiara City Council (HCC).
The Participating Authorities and Organizations for the Youth Forum were Ministry of Health, Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs, SIPPA and Community Youth Groups.
According to Harry James, the President for HYC in his closing statement, the involvement of various stakeholders was a positive sign.
“I am thankful for the involvement of Ministries, stakeholders and young people. I will work with responsible stakeholders and authorities to re-look and have strong emphasis on youth and mental health on the theme, “Mental Health Matters”.
Key speaker for the Honiara Youth Forum Dr. Paul Orotaloa, Director of Mental Health Unit, did a presentation on what mental Health is and its importance to young people.
Dr. Orotaloa said the Honiara Youth Forum was a big success and great realization.
He also acknowledged the UN Office in Honiara, Honiara City Council-Youth Division, Honiara Youth Council (HYC) and MWYFA for considering mental health as an issue.
In response, Andre Tipoki, Deputy Director for Youth Division, Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs made a keynote address by saying “Young people’s mental health is very important”.
The day-long forum inspired many groups and youths who vowed to take the issue to a next level.
Participant said they were empowered and satisfied with the outcome.
By: Lynton Aaron Filia
Youth Division Media Volunteer