Swiss Youth Seek Ways Out Of Mental Health Crisis

(MENAFN- Swissinfo) Deutsch (de) Gesucht: Auswege aus der Mental-Health-Krise (original)

  • 中文 (zh) 瑞士青年的政治关切:心理健康危机
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    If there had been a council of the future in his young days, it would not have concerned itself with mental health. This is the comment of the grey-haired expert to whom young people between 16 and 24 ask their questions. But one can see from the faces of the participants that they are fully aware of the responsibility they are taking on here.

    Annabel Lewis from Geneva voted for the mental health focus.“I knew that mental illness affects young people – but the figures we are seeing are thought-provoking,” she says. One out of five people is affected by mental illness. That means every Swiss young person likely has a peer who is struggling psychologically.

    The Under-24 Council of the Future is meeting this autumn for one weekend each in Zurich, Lausanne and Locarno. They hear information briefings, they discuss, and at the end they formulate their suggestions to the political level as to how Switzerland can better deal with the issue of mental health.

    In small groups with experts: On the opening day of the "Future Council", the young people were interested in gaining as much expert and practical knowledge as possible about mental health. swissinfo.ch

    The Council of the Future is a citizen assembly or panel. This is nothing new either in Switzerland or elsewhere in the world. In recent years such groups have emerged as a trend in the development of democracy.

    Climate councils and citizen panels

    The trend began in Europe with the Irish citizen assembly We The Citizens. The Irish citizens chosen by lot were to come up with positions on polarising issues through a discussion process, called deliberation. Surprising for many, one of the recommendations of this Irish panel was for a liberal abortion law – and in 2018, in the traditionally Catholic country, almost two thirds voted in favour. Up till then in Ireland there had been no movement on the issue of abortion for a long time.

    After the Irish citizen assembly had thus got the country out of one political cul-de-sac, there emerged further such panels chosen by lot, including national climate change councils in France, Germany, and Britain.


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