#ICanSurvive Mental Health Toolkit by the AU Youth Envoy

Written by Aviwe Funani , Senior Officer at United for Global Mental Health.

We are excited to announce the launch of the African Union (AU) Office of the Youth Envoy’s #ICanSurvive Mental Health Advocacy Toolkit. This toolkit was developed in direct response to a needs assessment which involved over 50,000 young people across Africa by the Office of the AU’s Youth Envoy. This resource now serves as a guide for young people in Africa; providing the necessary tools to champion and support mental health advocacy activities. Highlighted in the toolkit are the most pressing issues affecting youth mental health; Environmental Change, Social Isolation, Digital Spaces, Economic Development, and Education. The toolkit sets out five goals designed to; encourage mental health awareness, influence policy regarding young people, advocate for strengthened mental health services by AU Member States, and provide strategies that build young people’s resilience. United for Global Mental Health (UnitedGMH), celebrates this toolkit and is honoured to have contributed to its development by providing global mental health expertise, signposting guidance, strategic communications and toolkit dissemination. Supporting the development of this toolkit allowed us to advance UnitedGMH efforts in ensuring – A world where everyone, everywhere has someone to turn to in support of their mental health

We would like to thank the AU Youth Envoy for integrating learnings from the UnitedGMH 2022-2023 Advocacy Roadmap and the Global Mental Health Action Network’s Youth with Lived Experience Engagement Guidelines.

This is a valuable advocacy resource for our national partners on the African continent, and we look forward to sharing it with our partners globally. A key audience is the Being Initiative; a new global youth mental health intervention that focuses on prevention and promotion specifically aimed at addressing the mental health needs of youth and people with lived experience in low-middle-income countries. It sets out to achieve this through strategic partnerships, stakeholder engagement and investment, in partnership with Fondation Botnar and Grand Challenges Canada. 

We would like to acknowledge other partners engaged by the AU Youth Envoy in the development process namely; The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), The London School of Economics, Global Partnerships for Education, COP28 UAE Government, Harvard University and Columbia University.