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Mind It: Discovering the link between self-identity, mental health and the media
Start date: Jan 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

‘Mind it’ Training Course will tackle the issue of mental health with regards to pressures emitted by the media. It will seek to raise awareness on these topics and provide youth workers with tools how to prevent, recognize and support youths with the increase in mental health issues. 'Mind it' will take place in Malta between the 8 - 16 April 2015 with 31 participants coming from 9 countries which include Malta, Latvia, Romania, Estonia, Bulgaria, Portugal, Italy, Turkey and Germany. According to Marc Prensky, media and technology has brought on a new form of physical evolution in the brain of today’s youth. This comprises a change in the way they think, interact, learn and perceive the world. In spite of this having positive effects on our youths, it has also induced new pressures on them and their identity formation, especially when the reality presented to them through the media conflicts with their true everyday life. Modern theorists agree that a crisis in identity formation may lead to mental health problems such as depression and anorexia nervosa. After talking to various professionals, this Training course was designed with the following aims in mind: 1. To understand what is involved in the identity formation and the identity development of youth: what defines who they are and who they want to be, and to deal with any crisis that may arise due to instability in identity. 2. To raise awareness on the effect of media and technology on the identity development and the mental health of youngsters: to read between the lines of what needs, lifestyles and implicit messages are passed on to them every day. 3. To provide youth workers with tools on how to take on a preventive approach: how to counteract the effect of media on youth, how to help youth be resilient to the messages being passed on from the on-line world and to help them to reduce any anxieties projected by the ideal life presented by the media which may conflict with their real lives. 4. To equip youth workers with tools how to recognize any traits of identity crisis which may lead to mental health problems, how to support their youth if a problem arises and who and when to ask for help. The session will be delivered in form of discussions, simulations, sketches, workshops, team building activities which are all non formal tools of education. The participants of Mind it will equip themselves with the necessary skills to understand better the transition period which young people form the age of 13 - 19 will undergo, increase their awareness to tackle mental health and include it in their development programmes, to understand the role which media play in the forming of identity of young people and to increase the media literacy level of themselves and young people they work with. An online campaign will also be published and launched during Mind it, in which all organizations can access and use material generated from it. The young people could also use this platform to ask questions and contact the organization for further support.
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